British Columbia

Health warning issued for 3 more Vancouver beaches due to E. coli contamination

Vancouver Coastal Health is warning people and their pets that entering the waters off English Bay, Jericho, and Sunset Beaches could put their health at risk due to high levels of E. coli contamination.

Advisories have increased this year due to the warmer weather, says medical health officer

Vancouver Coastal Health is warning people and their pets that entering the waters off English Bay, Jericho, and Sunset Beaches could put their health at risk. 

The health authority released an advisory Saturday announcing unsafe levels of E. coli bacteria in the beach waters. 

They join Trout Lake and Bowen Island's Snug Cove, which have had warnings in effect since July 19 and June 20, respectively. 

E. coli is an organism associated with fecal contamination from humans and animals. 

The beaches are monitored through the swimming season and advisories are issued if levels of E. coli bacteria exceed 200 per 100 millilitres of water. 

Dr. Patricia Daly, Vancouver Coastal Health chief medical health officer, says E. coli advisories have increased this year due to the warmer weather. 

"This year because of the very warm weather it allows those bacteria to multiply, which means it's not surprising that with the hot weather we've seen higher counts, that could have certainly contributed to it," said Daly. 

She says the bacteria could come from humans, animals, boats, and leaks in the sewage system. 

Daly says people could develop illnesses, including skin and ear infections if they swam in the water.

Daly doesn't know long the advisories will be in effect, but Vancouver Coastal Health will be checking bacteria levels on Monday to see whether the beaches can be reopened.

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