Elevated Bacteria Levels In Kenai River
State health officials issue warning to beachgoers
State health officials say there are elevated levels of fecal coliform and enterococci bacteria on Kenai beaches.
The bacteria is found in mammals like birds, dogs and even humans, and it's responsible for diseases like meningitis, cholera and some forms of hepatitis.
State health officials say the levels are not high enough yet to be considered a public health threat, but say beachgoers should take precautions.
"If you're exposed to the water, it's no reason to get overly concerned,” said Dr. Michael Cooper with the state’s Department of Health and Social Services. “I know that's a big concern right now. As well, don't swim, don't drink, and rinse off if you're exposed to that water."
Cooper said anglers should be extra cautious since the Kenai river beach is now open for fishing 24 hours a day.