A handful of areas along the Texas coast reported high levels of fecal bacteria ahead of the spring break holiday, though several popular destinations are in the clear, monitoring by Texas Beach Watch showed.
Fecal bacteria can cause minor symptoms such as upset stomach, diarrhea, ear infections and rashes, but some specific pathogens can have more severe health effects, according to experts.
Officials discourage contact with infected waters.
Texas Beach Watch, a service provided by the Texas General Land Office, says infection often comes from microorganisms being able to enter a swimmer’s body through fresh cuts or tears in the skin.
Areas along the coast closer to Houston also reported high and medium levels of fecal bacteria, according to Texas Beach Watch.
As of mid-Sunday, the levels were listed as low and medium.