What are the Effects of Beach Pollution on Human Health?
Pathogens are disease-causing bacteria, viruses and protozoa, whose high levels of incurrence are monitored in beach waters. This will be the basis for beach closing advisories, since the environmental cause for concern are the health risks presented to beach goers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), infections and illnesses largely acquired from recreational waters, including beaches, have continued to increase in recent decades.
The most common of these illnesses is gastroenteritis or stomach flu, where the stomach and the small intestines are inflamed. This illness is manifested by several symptoms like vomiting, severe stomach ache, nausea, headache, and fever. Children are the most susceptible to this disease, or adults who have weak immune systems. The illness may last for several days but have also been known to cause long-term lingering illness or even death due to dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting.
In most cases, the effects of beach pollution like gastroenteritis are not immediately linked to swimming in polluted beach waters because there is usually a delay of several days, or even up to two weeks, before the pathogens manifest their infections.