Glynn County lifts health advisory for Jekyll Island beach

Georgia health officials retested water in area of South Beach at 4H camp

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JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. – A health advisory issued Tuesday after the Glynn County Health Department found high levels of bacteria in the water on Jekyll Island was lifted Friday morning.

The advisory was for South Beach at the 4H camp, which goes from the south water tower to Macy Lane on Jekyll Island. No other beaches were affected by the advisory.

According to health officials, water samples were tested for enterococcus bacteria, which is found in humans, birds, raccoons, dolphins and other wildlife. Sources of the bacteria could include animal waste, storm water runoff or boating waste.

When a beach is under advisory, it means that the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards. 

READ: Beach Water Advisory FAQs

"The beaches are not closed," Elizabeth Cheney, with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, told News4Jax on Thursday. "We simply advise people not to swim in that particular area."

The health department recommends staying out of the water during an advisory. Seafood captured in the area should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and cooked before eating.

Anyone who does go in the water will have an increased risk of illness, according to health officials.

"They experience symptoms of upset stomach, ear infection, throat infection or wound infection," said Saroyi Morris, with the Georgia Department of Public Health. "It's best they consult with their primary physician."

Paula Bennett, who was visiting from Ohio, said Thursday that she and her husband will be headed to the doctor if they experience any of the symptoms. 

"I'm thinking that at the first sign of anything, we will probably try to call the doctor," Bennett said.

The advisory was lifted after water samples taken Thursday showed the bacteria levels meet the EPA's standards.

As of Thursday, the Georgia Department of Public Health said there were no reports of anyone getting sick from the bacteria. 

To learn more about beach water testing, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health's website.

Click here for updated reports on water testing.

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