© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health & Science

Kent Researchers Find Significant Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria at Lake Erie Beaches

picture of lake erie

A recently published study by a Kent State University researcher shows significant levels of infectious bacteria on Lake Erie beaches.

Epidemiology professor Tara Smith tested 10 beaches and found higher than expected levels of antibiotic-resistant staph, known as MRSA, and its treatable counterpart.

Smith says nearly a quarter of the samples contained staph aureus and nearly 10 percent contained MRSA.

“We found staph aureus on almost every beach. There was only one that was completely negative every time we went and sampled. So, not a huge shock that we found it there. But, I think the levels that we found it at were a little surprising to us and in some cases, higher than what they had seen on ocean beaches.”

Smith cautions high-risk groups, such as those with an open wound or compromised immune system, to understand the risks and be careful.

She recommends beachgoers shower to eliminate all bacteria residue that could be on their skin after their trip.