What threatens us in the Baltic Sea? Cyanobacteria, jellyfish, flesh-eating bacteria

cyanobacteria it’s a holiday curse. Their bloom is effective showing the red flag and closing the bathing beach† According to the reports of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, the authorities of the State Sanitary Inspectorate issued a total of 275 assessments in 2018 of a temporary bathing ban for 128 seaside resorts, “mainly due to the occurrence of excessive cyanobacterial blooms or exceeding of microbiological parameters”. In 2019, 197 decisions were made for 105 seaside resorts and in 2020 – 190 for 95 seaside resorts. Many people who spend their holidays in the Baltic Sea season have been spoiled by cyanobacteria. And they will likely thwart more than once. But when it appears a message about the blooming of cyanobacteria and the closure of the bathing beach, it is imperative to listen to those who strongly advise against taking a bath. Soaking in water that resembles green soup can lead to many unpleasant ailments.

Cyanobacteria live not only in seas, but also in oceans, lakes, rivers and ponds. It is worth knowing that more than 2,000 people stand out. different types of. In summer it mainly produces toxic substances in the Baltic Sea Nodularia spumigena† However, the appearance of the water does not tell you whether a bloom is dangerous or not, so in waters where cyanobacteria will appear, the decision cannot be anything but a swimming ban.

down rapid proliferation of cyanobacteria takes place under favorable conditions: when the water temperature is around 16-20 degrees Celsius for a long time, when it contains phosphates and nitrates flowing from the agricultural lands, when the wind is weak, the water column is not stirred and no rain falls . Due to the volatility of the weather conditions it is impossible to predict when will cyanobacteria bloom and how long will it last?† The bathing area may be open one day and not the next, so it’s worth following the information on the usefulness of bathing water published in The bath service run by GIS.

Compliance with the three basic rules it will protect us from the negative effects of cyanobacterial bloom† Experts recommend that you: avoid contact with cyanobacteria and unpleasant-smelling and discolored water (musty, earthy or grassy), do not drink the contaminated water from pets, and do not use it to water vegetables.

Contact with cyanobacteria (swimming in polluted water, accidentally swallowing, but also breathing air near polluted bathing water) can cause the following symptoms

  • erythema, rash,
  • itch
  • itchy and watery eyes
  • conjunctival redness,
  • stomach ache,
  • nausea, vomiting,
  • diarrhea
  • throat irritation
  • shortness of breath
  • an asthma attack
  • headache,
  • muscle and joint pain,
  • balance disorders,
  • fever,
  • chills.

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If the water is free of cyanobacteria, the red light will light up occasionally Baltic jellyfish

The most common species in the Polish sea is a clearing of blue† It is still considered a threat to humans. However, the truth is that blue coals are harmless and you can bathe in their environment without fear – despite the fact that they have a scorching substance, as experts note, their poison will not harm us. However, many will still be put off by their shape and structure.

However, in the autumn-winter period in the Baltic Sea, we can already encounter dangerous crank bolt† It is very rare here, but you are warned about it, as it can seriously burn you. It comes in a variety of colors – usually yellowish or blue, is much larger compared to the blue marshmallow (an adult specimen’s body diameter can reach two meters), and has numerous venomous stingers extending up to 30 meters.

burn jellyfish it mainly causes: burning pain of strong intensity (some compare it with stinging nettles), redness and swelling of the skin, rash, muscle spasms.

They can also lurk in the waters of the Baltic Sea flesh-eating bacteria – commas of the genus Vibrio† Why carnivores? Because they destroy tissues, including muscles, and cause necrotic and disintegrating changes.

Infections with a Vibrio etiology are mentioned with vibriosis† Although cases of Vibrio infections other than the toxin-causing V. cholerae (responsible for cholera) are not subject to registration in Poland and other European countries, the problem of vibrations is indicated to increase in warm months, when the water temperature exceeds 16 degrees. Celsius.

In the case of ingesting contaminated water or consuming insufficiently processed seafood, symptoms such as watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills may occur.

If contaminated water comes into contact with damaged skin, the following is observed: wound infections, abscess formation. Otitis media, otitis externa and conjunctivitis are also possible consequences of contact with Vibrio commas

The infection is especially dangerous for people with weakened immune systems – they can get sepsis and even death. Fortunately, most cases are mild and do not require treatment.

How do you protect yourself from commas? Among other things, you should: avoid swallowing water while bathing, avoid raw or undercooked seafood, wash your hands with soap and water after contact with potentially contaminated water, and in the case of wounds on the body, it is best to avoid sea, river or lake.

It sometimes happens that the ban on the use of bathing areas on the coast is also introduced for this reason exceeding the permitted concentration of bacteria from the E. coli group (Escherichia coli)† These are bacteria that are one of the most common in these types of places.

Infection with Escherichia coli usually it leads to food poisoning. It can happen if we accidentally ingest contaminated water. The characteristic symptoms are: persistent diarrhoea, severe abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.

When bacteria come into contact with the skin, they can hinder the healing process, cause abscess formation and superinfection. E. coli bacteria they can also pass into the urinary system. They cause inflammation of the bladder. Signs of this include: pain and burning when urinating, pollakiuria, abdominal pain and fever.


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