Bacteria warning for Boca Chica Beach

The Cameron County Health Department urged beachgoers to avoid getting in the water at Boca Chica Beach due to unsafe levels of bacteria.

Dr. James Castillo told Action 4 News the bacteria stemmed from the water coming down the Rio Grande from flooded areas.

"Sewage from those communities is in the river and that's emptying out into the ocean, he said. Then the flow carries it up north into the beaches that were monitoring."

The few people on Boca Chica on Monday morning were either fishing or in swimming in the water. Many seemed unaware of the risks associated with the bacteria, but others said they knew but were being cautious.

"I don TMt plan on going into the water until that clears up, Abel Moreno said. He goes to Boca Chica almost twice a month. I'm just sightseeing, not going into the water. Hopefully in the next few weeks it clears up."

Dr. Castillo said it is unknown when the bacteria levels will go down. But that as long as floodwaters continue to make their way out into the gulf, the health risks will continue.

"If anyone did come into contact with the water and may have ingested it. If you develop symptoms of G.I. disturbances like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fevers to seek medical attention," he concluded.

To monitor bacteria levels at Boca Chica Beach visit the Texas General Land Office TMs special website.