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Swimming advisory issued for KDH beach access

A swimming advisory has been posted at the public beach access at Ocean Bay Boulevard in Kill Devil Hills after water testing showed a level of bacteria exceeded state and federal standards.

Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it is not known to cause illness, scientific studies indicate that enterococci may indicate the presence of other disease-causing organisms, the town said in a news release.

Test results of water samples indicated a running monthly average of 55 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water. This exceeds the state and federal standards of a running monthly average of 35 enterococci per 100 milliliters, based on five samples taken within a 30-day period.

People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.

The advisory is not a beach closing, nor does the advisory affect the entire Kill Devil Hills area. Swimming advisories affect water within 200 feet of the sign.

State officials will continue testing the site, and they will remove the sign and notify the public again when the bacteria levels decrease to levels below the standards.

For more information on the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program, visit the program’s website at:http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-water-quality or on Twitter.com @ncrecprgm.

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