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Going to the beach is not without danger to your health. Gastroenteritis, mycoses, worms … Here is an update on what we really risk on the sand or in the water.

Whether you like swimming in the waves or just lounging on your towel. The beach is a dangerous place for your health. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.  can hide there in particular. Animal feces, especially dog feces , are also a significant source of infection for humans.

beach a dangerous place ? This may be a risk where dogs are present

Result: even if the beaches of sand end are dreaming, easily one catches them diseases ! But before listing those that it is possible to contract , let’s take a look at the people at risk and the hygiene instructions to follow.

Beach and diseases: we are at risk

The pathogenic bacteria that you may encounter while walking on the beach are most often the result of  direct contamination from another person or through excrement.

Except … we are not all equal when it comes to disease. The most fragile people, such as children , who “eat” sand or put their fingers in their mouths after building their sandcastle, or the elderly , are particularly at risk.

nuilding sandcastles

The immunocompromised are also more likely than the general population of developing a disease if they come into contact with bacteria or fungi on the beach. 

However, it remains rare to get sick after enjoying the beach, according to the WHO: “It has been hypothesized that beach sand and other similar materials could be reservoirs or vectors of infection , but the infectivity of the microorganisms found in the sand has still not been demonstrated, so it is not known what risks they present to public health.

WHO and the beach

Avoid following to reduce the risk of infection

To avoid diseases that could be linked to poor sand quality , it is important to respect the following instructions:

  • Do not sit directly on the sand , always bring a bath towel or mattress;
  • Always check the cleanliness of the beach before settling there (there must be toilets and bins nearby);
  • Put the children in a bathing suit instead  of letting them sit directly all naked in the sand, thus exposing their private parts to microorganisms;
  • Avoid digging in the sand  : pathogenes get lodged very easily under the fingernails;
  • Do not go to a beach where there are animals  : they could make their excrement there, which could in turn infect you;
  • Shower after each beach / swim and wash your swimwear regularly  to limit contamination by parasites;
  • In the event of contact with  pellets of oil residues  that could arrive on the coast, it is essential to clean your skin with edible oil or sun lotion.

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