Ocean Not Safe?
HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN) -- Group A streptococcus infections are responsible for "strep throat" and impetigo, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control website. However, the bacteria also causes life-threatening diseases including necrotizing fasciitis ("flesh-eating bacteria") and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
In 2006 the state health department confirmed 2,218 cases of Group A streptococcus infections in Hawaii, of which 136 were serious invasive-type infections.
This was taken from an article about a youth who was hospitalized for streptococcal toxic shock syndrome from an infection he caught while paddling a canoe in the ocean. A middle-aged man died a few months ago after he contracted the same disease from falling into a small boat harbor.
Every time I go snorkeling or spearfishing in the ocean I get multiple tiny cuts from scraping the coral reefs with my skin. This never worried me before, but it looks like it may be only a matter of time until I get a serious strep infection.
It's a damned shame the ocean in Hawaii doesn't seem to be safe to swim in any longer. The cause is not natural, but the result of repeated spills of raw sewage during sewer line breaks, floods and earthquakes. The outdated sewage treatment system needs to be replaced, but the state refuses to spend the money despite its highest budget surplus in 20 years.
When the tourists start dying, the state will finally do something about it.
"The earth was made round so we can't see too far down the road and know what is coming." -- Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa