U.S. Beaches Closed Ahead of Holiday Weekend Due to Bacterial Contamination

Heavy rainfall is largely being blamed for harmful bacteria that has caused multiple beach closures across the U.S.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of a beach.


Stock image of a beach.

Beaches from coast to coast have been closed due to bacterial contamination — just as many Americans are headed to the shore for the Fourth of July holiday.

In Nantucket, Mass., two beaches were closed (one due to “bacterial exceedance,” and the other for “harmful cyanobacterial bloom”) and there were 40 more beaches across the state closed to the public, the state’s Department of Health said.

“Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) cause most harmful algal blooms in fresh water,” the Centers for Disease Control explains — and while the bacteria itself doesn’t infect humans, it’s harmful by “making toxins or growing too dense.”

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of fireworks over a beach.


Stock image of fireworks over a beach.

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Not all closures were due to algae: In Michigan, E. Coli prompted the closures of beaches, according to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

And as the CDC explains, E. coli are the bacteria “that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract” and “can be passed in the feces of humans and other animals” — although a local report by WGHN blamed recent weather, saying, “It is believed that storm runoff has brought the bacteria into the waters.”

As the CDC explains, “Heavy rain picks up anything it comes in contact with (for example, human and animal poop). This rainwater can drain into the swim area, making the water cloudier.”

Related: 2-Year-Old Nevada Boy Dies from Brain-Eating Amoeba: 'He Fought 7 Days'

That was the case in New York’s Suffolk County, which issued multiple “rainfall related” advisories for local beaches.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of a closed beach.


Stock image of a closed beach.

And in San Diego County three beaches closed due to bacteria levels that “exceed health standards.”

Before heading out into the water, the CDC says you should “check online to find out if the swim area is currently monitored, is under advisory, or has been closed for health or safety reasons. This is especially important after a heavy rain.”

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