Escherichia coli found in the sea water of Popski Beach in Tsarevo

The Regional Health Inspection Authority of Burgas found Escherichia coli bacteria in the sea water near the Popski Beach in Tsarevo. The probes were taken two times in July 2011 and two times in August 2011.

Escherichia coli bacteria

Escherichia coli bacteria. Credit: Janice Haney, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Escherichia coli concentration on 11th July 2011 was 539 cfu in100 ml of water. On 25th July the concentration was 574 cfu in 100 ml of water. On 8th August 2011 there were 24000 coliforms in 100 ml of water, with fecal coliforms 2100 per 100 ml of water, Escherichia coli concentration was 524 cfu per 100 ml of water, and the intestinal enterococci concentration was 467 cfu per 100 ml of water. On 11th August 2011 the intestinal enterococci concentration was 347 cfu in 100 ml of water.

The Regional Health Inspection Authority informed the Reginal Inspection for the Environment and the Waters, the Basin Direction for the Black Sea Region , as well as the District Governor for the Burgas district. It is expected that the beach will be closed in order to prevent the tourists and the local people from getting infections.

According to investigations made in 2010, the pollution comes from the Popska river, which is used as an outlet of the waste water treating plant of the town of Tsarevo, which does not work well in the summer season due to heavy load.

Escherichia coli is a bacterium normally found in the intestinal tract of the humans as non-pathogenic strain. There are pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli which cause many gastroenterological diseases, meningitis and others.  Infections with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli were reported recently in Germany.

It is a common problem for the tourists on the Bulgarian Black Sea beach to get intestinal infections. Luckily the infections do not take more than 1-3 days, without complications, in most of the cases.

Note: CFU or cfu, the Colony-Forming Unit, is a measure of the concentration of bacteria. The bacteria are counted indirectly, by the number of colonies they form in an appropriate environment by binary fission.

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