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Few health complaints made after cholera bacteria found on Estonian beaches

People on the beach.
People on the beach. Source: ERR

Non-toxic cholera vibrios bacteria found on several beaches in Estonia has not led to a surge of infections, the Health Board said.

While several people have contracted the bacteria this year, it can also be caught elsewhere or treated as a similar illness.

"They can cause ear infections, it can cause various different inflammations on the surfaces of the body. If there is some skin damage, the seawater should definitely be washed off with fresh water," said Irina Dontšenko, adviser to the Health Board's Department of Infectious Diseases.

However, swimming is not the only way to pick up the bacteria.

"Mostly, those who get sick are people who eat poorly thermally processed seafood. If we want to eat seafood, we must definitely thermally process it well, and if we handle it with our hands during cooking, we would definitely wash our hands afterward," Dontšenko told Monday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

The bacteria spread in brackish seawater with low salinity but the agency said there is no potential for an epidemic.

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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

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