Beach given all-clear after medical alert

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BATHERS affected by a microscopic algae.

THE El Playazo beach in Vera was given the all-clear on the summer’s hottest day so far.
The beach was closed to swimmers on June 23 after local health centres treated an increasing number of patients who complained of coughs and rashes.
All had one thing in common:  they had been swimming at El Playaza in Vera or the Villaricos and Quitapellejos beaches in Cuevas del Almanzora.
Analyses showed that they were affected by ostreopsis, a microscopic algae found in marine and freshwater environments and whose effects in extreme cases can require hospitalisation.
The three beaches were closed to swimmers on the regional government’s orders and the public were warned to stay away from Vera’s breakwater.  
Medical centres have now treated a total of 90 people but with no more cases reported in Vera, the bathing ban has been lifted although the Cuevas beaches have yet to reopen.
Meanwhile Ecologistas en Accion want to know how the ostreopsis reached the beaches and questioned the Junta’s theory that the micro-algae’s presence was a natural phenomenon.  The proximity of the Deretil pharmaceutical plant close to Villaricos could be more than coincidental, a spokesman claimed. 

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