As Myrtle Beach has now experienced several days of hard rains, with a continuation of those rains forecast-ed today, tourists do need to be on the alert for bacteria spikes occurring in the eight swash areas along the nine mile section of Myrtle Beach.
A swash area is an area that drains from land, down the beachfront to the ocean. S.C. Department of Health And Environmental Control records are currently showing spikes of up to 77 times above safe numbers for swimming this Spring and Summer after heavy rains.
The EPA warns tourists: The most common illnesses associated with swimming in water polluted by high bacteria are gastroenteritis and skin cellulitis. Gastroenteritis occurs in a variety of forms that can have one or more of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea, headache or fever. Skin cellulitis is a bacterial infection that often shows up as a rash. Cellulitis can spread rapidly. Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria and can require lengthy treatment for young children or people with diabetes or compromised immune systems.
To see the locations of those eight infected areas, visit the official Department of Health and Environmental Control site here.
All other beach areas, outside of the eight drainage areas, are completely safe for swimming.