- Associated Press - Saturday, August 19, 2017

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - At least two of the many beaches found to be contaminated near Ketchikan continue to have high levels of a wastewater and sewage pathogen, an Alaska official said.

The waters at Thomas Basin and Rotary Beach have high levels of enterococci bacteria, the Ketchikan Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/2xe5NqV ) Thursday. Officials found high levels of the bacteria last week at several beaches between Clover Pass and Saxman.

The bacteria is common in the fecal matter of warm-blooded animals, more so in human feces, according to the National Institutes of Health. Contact with contaminated water can cause stomach aches and diarrhea, as well as infections.

Officials will continue sampling efforts until all area beaches test clean, Nancy Sonafrank of the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.

Beachgoers are urged to take precautions to avoid bacterial exposure, such as not swimming in contaminated waters, washing after contact with contaminated waters and thoroughly rinsing fish harvested from contaminated waters.

The other areas previously identified as contaminated include Beacon Hill, Knudson Cove, Refuge Cove Beach, Seaport Beach near Saxman, South Point Higgins Beach and Sunset Beach at the south end of Mud Bay.


Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, https://www.ketchikandailynews.com

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