The Health Department has cordoned off several beaches in Vera and Cuevas after dozens of bathers yesterday were rushed to medical centres suffering severe allergy attacks which in some cases were causing severe respiratory difficulties.
The problem is a type of marine plankton called a dinoflagellate (see wikipedia link).
It seems that they are blossoming off several beaches in the area, and can cause severe allergy attacks in bathers who come into contact with them.
The Department of Health has warned that you don’t have to be in the water to be affected, if they are washed onto the beach and you then walk through their remains you can be affected. Hence the total beach closures. Walkers are not allowed within 50m of the high water mark.
One man from Villaricos told almeriahoy.com how his entire family was affected after a swim. “Heavy sneezing, a lot of mucus and in one case a nasty rash” he explained. “I don’t know what caused this but this cannot continue like this, nobody can go into the sea while this continues”.
The Environmental Agency says that these type of algae bloom are most likely caused by a combination of the sea getting warmer for summer and water pollution which is providing the plankton with plenty of food.
The authorities say they are monitoring other beaches in the area to see if the pollution is spreading and urge bathers to obey warning flags.
San Juan celebrations on beaches in Villaricos and Palomares were yesterday limited on some beaches due to the closure. The festivals went ahead in the beach bars, but the bonfires were moved back from the water edge and proteccion civil were on hand to warn people not to approach the infected areas.