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Bacteria found in Mississippi waters prompts beach closure

Environmental officials in Mississippi are warning beachgoers that some coastal swimming areas will be closed after bacteria were found in the water.

The state Environmental Quality Department announced Thursday that enterococcus bacteria have been found along a west Gulfport shore, posing an increased risk of illness. The Sun Herald reports that waters are closed from Marie Avenue to Camp Avenue.

The Environmental Protection Agency says enterococcus bacteria indicate contamination from fecal waste of humans or warm-blooded animals. Officials have said the bacteria thrive in sewage or storm water runoff and scientists use the levels to determine the presence of other disease-causing microorganisms.

In September, all state beaches along the Gulf Coast reopened after being closed for months amid a harmful algae bloom.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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