Don't swim: Dorian could have brought an increased risk of disease or illness to the beach

Dorian may be moving away from Florida, but it is not safe to hit the waves yet.

The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County has issued a county wide precautionary swim advisory for all public beaches. They say that swimming is not recommended at this time.

Tests will reportedly be conducted, when possible, to determine the water quality at public beach locations. Until the test results are available, you should assume that water contact may pose an increased risk of disease or illness, particularly for susceptible individuals.

The department says that residents should also avoid contact with floodwaters, which come from an overflow of any water body from rivers, lakes, or oceans. Fecal matter from sewage systems, septic tanks, and agricultural and industrial waste. Debris, downed power lines, and other hazards could also be hidden in the floodwaters.

The Department of Health also advises the following actions after a hurricane:

  • Follow basic hygiene during this emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and water which has either been boiled or disinfected before eating and after toilet use.
  • Do not allow children to play in floodwater. They can be exposed to water contaminated with fecal matter.
  • Do not allow children to play with toys that have been in floodwater until the toys have been disinfected. Use a quarter cup of bleach in one gallon of water to disinfect toys and other items.
  • If you have open cuts or sores exposed to the floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and disinfected or boiled then cooled water. Apply antibiotic cream to reduce the risk of infection. If a wound or sore develops redness, swelling or drainage, see a physician.
  • After helping in cleanup activities and after handling items contaminated by floodwater or sewage, wash hands with soap and water. 

For more information, including the latest testing on salt water, visit the Department Of Health's website.