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Woman Catches Genital Infection From Swimming In The Sea

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Woman Catches Genital Infection From Swimming In The Sea

A woman has urged people to be careful after she caught a genital infection while swimming in the sea.

Jade was enjoying a dip at Byron Bay's Belongil Beach, Australia, earlier this year when she felt something wasn't quite right.

The area had recently been affected by a series of heavy floods and polluted water is believed to have ran off into the sea.

Jade told ABC: "The water looked OK, and other people convinced me it was fine, I but I felt a burning sensation so got out quickly."

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Concerned, she went to her doctor for a check-up and they confirmed she had infections in her ear and vagina.

It's thought that these were caused by the storms that hit the region in the days before.

Jade caught an infection while swimming on Belongil Beach. Credit: Alamy
Jade caught an infection while swimming on Belongil Beach. Credit: Alamy

The storm caused a huge amount of water to rush into the drains, which may have caused polluted water to then find its way into rivers.

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Paul Douglas, the director of the North Coast Public Health Unit in NSW, said: "Floodwater can contain hazardous substances, including raw sewage, chemicals and other contaminants."

Tom McAully Rix, an environmental officer with Ballina Shire Council, added: "Pollution is affected by tide, swell, wind and onshore drifts and how these factors interact can be highly variable, even within the day."

Ballina Shire Council has now warned people to stay away from the sea over Easter weekend.

A notice issued reads: "It could take several weeks before harmful bacteria and debris is flushed and will depend on further rainfall in the region."

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Accidentally swallowing contaminated water can lead to bacterial or viral illnesses.

The NSW Environment Protection Agency (EPA) says that while it can be useful to seek out test results with your local council, it's also important that people simply use their common sense when deciding whether or not to go for a swim.

Her doctor confirmed that she had ear and vaginal infections. Credit: Alamy
Her doctor confirmed that she had ear and vaginal infections. Credit: Alamy

The body said: "If you can see signs of pollution in the water, like discoloured water or debris floating on the surface, don't jump in.

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"Never swim in floodwater and avoid swimming near stormwater drains."

Grainne O'Malley lives close to Manly beach near Sydney and has been cautious about going in the water of late.

She told the Daily Mail: "I normally swim in Manly at least twice a week, but the storms and flooding have made me very cautious. 

"Who knows what all that rain washes into the sea."

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And Jade is being equally careful too.

She said: "I went in against my better judgement because I'd had cabin fever for weeks stuck inside.

"I won't be swayed by others again. As a long-time local, I should have known better."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy (stock image)

Topics: Australia, Health, Science

Dominic Smithers
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