The Community and Public Health division of Canterbury District Health Board has issued a health warning after high levels of faecal bacteria were found in consecutive samples taken by Environment Canterbury community volunteers from Akaroa at the main beach and Glen Bay.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says water quality at affected sites is not considered suitable for recreational uses including swimming because of the risk to health from the bacteria and other pathogens.
“In most cases the ill-health effects from exposure to contaminated water are minor and short-lived. However, there is the potential for more serious diseases, such as hepatitis A, giardia, cryptosporosis, campylobacter and salmonella,” Dr Humphrey says.
Eating fish or shellfish from these sites should also be avoided.
Water contaminated by human or animal faecal matter may contain a range of disease causing micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa.
The sites where water quality is affected are listed on Environment Canterbury’s website, he says.
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