VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WNEW/AP) — With Memorial Day approaching, Virginia health officials have temporarily banned swimming and wading in part of the Chesapeake Bay because of bacteria levels.

A swimming and wading advisory issued Wednesday is in effect for a portion of Virginia Beach. The advisory includes the First Landing State Park coastline along the bay.

Recent tests showed an increased level of Enterococcus organisms in the water.

Enterococci are a group of organisms that can determine the extent of the fecal contamination in water. The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health says Enterococci do not cause illness, but their presence is an indicator that water is contaminated with other more harmful and disease-causing organisms.

Health officials say people swimming in waters with high bacteria levels have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness, as well as other respiratory infections.

The advisory doesn’t affect the Oceanfront or resort area.

The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health says in a news release that recent tests showed bacteria levels in the water exceeded state water quality standards.

Health officials will continue testing the waters and will lift the ban when the bacterial levels meet state standards.

(TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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