Dangerous staph germs found at West Coast beaches - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dangerous staph germs found at West Coast beaches

Associated Press - September 12, 2009 2:25 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Scientists have found dangerous staph bacteria in sand and water samples from five beaches along the west coast of Washington state.

The germ, called MRSA, causes hard-to-treat skin infections and serious illnesses such as pneumonia. A previous study found it in ocean water along a South Florida beach.

Researchers say the germ is probably at other beaches as well. Doctors are not recommending that people avoid beaches, but say they should cover cuts or scrapes before digging in the sand, and shower afterward.

The study was reported Saturday at a microbiology conference in California.

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