Sanidad, the Andalusian health ministry, say that a total of 65 people have required medical attention since the 22nd after coming into contact with the toxic beach algae that has closed three beaches in Vera and Cuevas.
15 of these people have come into contact with the algae after they ignored warnings and went into the danger zones.
Alfredo Valdivia, our “man from the ministry” says the situation is under control and that medics in the area are fully aware of what to do.
Asked for the reason for the plague he basically shrugged during last nights press conference and advised journalists to go ask a marine biologist.
He added that the situation is very complicated. “These algae are always present in our waters” he explained.
“But they are not always dangerous to humans. Sometimes they are present in great numbers but we are unaware of their presence, they are at the sea bottom out of the way. And at other times, for whatever reason, temperature, strong waves [that give them access to more oxygen] or better food they suddenly become more active (as they are now) and become more dangerous as they float to the surface.”
He continued to say that these algae are often found in Mediterranean waters, often in higher numbers than the swarms off our beaches at the moment, but that normally they are more passive.
All coastal medical centres in the area are on alert for symptoms and a plan is in place to urgently test waters if any bathers are affected outside of the danger zones. Alfredo reassures us that environmental teams are taking samples daily from the sea to monitor the danger and the exclusion zones will be modified if necessary.