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Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 6:20am

Bacteria Warning Off Tybee Pier

Public health officials have issued a bacteria advisory for Strand Beach near the Tybee Island pier, and authorities are urging swimmers to avoid water in the area until further notice.

Water quality samples along several blocks of beachfront showed high levels of enterococcus. Chatham County Health Department spokeswoman Sally Silbermann said that is a fecal bacteria typically found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals.

Officials said the bacteria can enter the human body through an open wound, by ingesting it, or through contact with the eyes, nose, or ears.

The beach isn't closed, but authorities are urging people not to swim or wade in the water.