Summer 2019 beach safety guide

Sept. 3, 2019, 5:42 p.m. | By Boaz Yoo | 4 years, 10 months ago

A guide to taking a safe dip in local waters.

Just around a month ago, Brittany Carey's pleasant family trip to Ocean City took a deadly turn. The morning after taking a dip in the coastal waters, her son contracted a deadly, flesh-eating, marine bacteria.

 This microscopic foe goes by the name of Vibrio. Found along the east coast, Vibrio thrives in the months between May and October in toastier southern waters. However, it has started making its way up north, even hitting some of our beloved Delmarva beaches (yes, that includes Ocean City). As summer 2019 draws to a close, you may be thinking of sneaking in one last beach trip, but let's not get too hasty. With all these reports, it is essential to take certain precautions to enjoy a fun and safe trip to the waters.

 Drumroll… Silver Chips Online is here to guide you through your summer beach experience. Keep the below guidelines in mind to make sure that your "dream" vacation goes smoothly.

1.Use common sense.

This goes without saying, but please use common sense. Saltwater is Vibrio's home ground, so if you have an open wound, don't go in the water, don't touch the water and don't let the water touch you. Any form of breaking in the skin (cuts, burns or insect bites) serves as the bacteria's gateway into the body.

2.Keep clean.

In case you didn't follow tip #1, keep your wounds clean after exiting the waters. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub to clean all cuts and injuries that may have been exposed to contaminated water. Finally, cover all wounds with a clean, dry bandage.

3.Don't eat raw sea animals.

...Especially shellfish. Shellfish are one of the most common sources of Vibrio infection. Of the 80,000 Vibrio infections that occur in the U.S. each year, 52,000 of them are caused by eating contaminated shellfish. Also, don't let raw seafood juices come into contact with any wounds.

4.See (or feel) something, say something!

If you experience any of the following symptoms, immediately see a medical professional:

  • Quickly spreading red or swollen area
  • Severe pain in swollen area
  • Fever
  • Ulcers or blisters on the skin
  • Pus or oozing from skin
  • Dizziness, fatigue, diarrhea or nausea

Keep these tips in mind to enjoy a safe and fun beach trip.

With all that said, these tips are not meant to scare you. Just make sure to use your common sense. Go outside and enjoy the warm breeze and the chilling splash of the beaches because before you know it, the school year will be here.

For more information about Vibrio and how to stay safe, visit CDC.

To date, Vibrio has contaminated Hammonasset Beach, Conn., Delaware Bay, Del., Baltimore, Md., Colonial Beach, Va., Ocean View Beach, Va., Ozona, Fla., Pinellas County, Fla., Anna Maria Island, Fla., Okaloosa County, Fla., Destin, Fla., Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., St. George Beach, Fla. and St. George Island, Fla.

Last updated: Sept. 3, 2019, 5:43 p.m.

Tags: disease summer beaches bacteria

Boaz Yoo. Hi. I am a staff writer for SCO. I enjoy practicing martial arts, playing tennis, and writing articles for SCO. More »

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