So, you're heading to the beach. You've got sunscreen, a towel, some snacks, a gallon or two of antibacterial disinfectant. Actually, that disinfectant or at least some disinfectant wipes, spray, or ointment might not be a bad thing to add to your beach kit.

If you haven't heard the Beach Monitoring Program of the Department of Health and Hospitals has placed several Louisiana beaches under advisories for increased levels of bacteria in the water. It's not uncommon for this time of the year when water temperatures get rather warm and the environment for bacteria becomes more conducive for growth.

None of the beaches listed on the Beach Monitoring Report are closed, however, officials are advising caution to those of you who might choose to go in the water or be near the water. The advisory offers specific warnings for the elderly and the very young. Also, persons whose immune systems may be compromised or those with chronic illness are advised to stay out of the water.

Here is an interactive map of where the affected beaches are located.

Authorities also suggest that if you have an open wound or sore that you stay out of the water as well. Should you become injured while swimming it is advised that you leave the water immediately and clean the wound with antibacterial soap and other disinfectants.

In some cases, a visit to your local health care provider might be advised as well. Officials say that you should monitor the wound site daily and are aware of signs of infection and know what to do should those symptoms begin.


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