Update: The Oregon Health Authority has lifted a public health advisory after fecal matter in the ocean waters at Cannon Beach lowered.
Officials say contact with the water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk, but suggest staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.
The Oregon Health Authority has issued a public health advisory for above-average fecal matter in ocean waters at Cannon Beach.
Recent water samples at the beach showed high-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. People are encouraged to avoid direct contact with water in the area until the advisory is lifted.
The health advisory applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.
The increase of pathogen and fecal bacteria levels can come from both shore and inland sources like stormwater runoff, failing septic systems and animal waste.
During the advisory, visitors at Cannon Beach should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach (or in discolored water) and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean.
State officials continue to encourage recreation activities on the beach, as they post no health risk during an advisory. There are no neighboring beaches affected by this advisory.
Last year a similar advisory was made for Cannon Beach, but was lifted the following day.