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Health officials warn against swimming at Ben T. Davis beach in Tampa

TAMPA — Hillsborough County health officials recommended Friday that people not swim at Ben T. Davis beach after finding unacceptable levels of bacteria found in animal and human intestinal tracks.

The presence of enterococci bacteria and fecal coliform means there is feces in the water, Steve Huard, spokesman for the Hillsborough County Health Department.

The bacteria could cause disease, infections or rashes, Huard said.

The Health Department will retest the water Monday and will likely issue a new advisory on Wednesday. When the bacteria is back within the accepted range, the advisory will be lifted.

"By the second week it is generally gone," Huard said.

The bacteria can come from a variety of sources, including water runoff, pets, wildlife and human sewage.

A similar warning was issued Thursday for St. Petersburg's Municipal Beach at Treasure Island.

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Health officials warn against swimming at Ben T. Davis beach in Tampa 10/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 22, 2010 4:59pm]

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