​Da Nang waters leave beachgoers with itchy skin, rashes

Visitors to Da Nang’s famous My Khe Beach have complained of unusual skin conditions, including itchiness and rashes, over the past few days.

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A woman scratches her arm after taking a dip at the My Khe Beach in Da Nang, July 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Thi Hong, a local resident, had barely been in the water for a few minutes on July 3 when she had to make a run for the shore after being overtaken by a mysterious itch.

Scratching furiously at her rashes, Hong said it was the first time she had experienced such a condition after visiting the My Khe Beach.

“My family of three were all itchy after being in the water for about ten minutes,” said Nguyen Thi Vu, a visitor from Hanoi.

“We’ve been to many beaches during our trip, but this is the first time we’ve felt such itchiness,” she added.

The same experience was reported by many other visitors to the famous beach, with more serious cases having required medical treatment at hospitals to cure rashes that had lasted for days without any sign of disappearing.

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Visitors play in the water at the My Khe Beach in Da Nang, July 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

My Khe is the only beach in Da Nang, where the issue has been reported so far.

The management of Da Nang’s beaches said on July 3 it had asked the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment to run tests on the water at My Khe to determine what might have caused the situation.

On Wednesday, the environment department announced readings from a water monitoring system installed at the My Khe Beach, which kept track of six water quality parameters including pH levels, total suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand, ammonium levels, fat, oil and grease levels, and coliform concentration.

All six readings from the first six months of 2018 met safety standards, according to the department.

It added that water samples would be collected from the beach for five days, from July 3 to 7, by experts from its environment monitoring center for further analyses of biological indicators.

Dang Quang Vinh, head of Da Nang’s environment protection authority, said it is working with relevant agencies to inspect sewage openings along the beach.

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A body scratches himself furiously as he gets out of the water at the My Khe Beach in Da Nang, July 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

In April, My Khe Beach was plagued for several days by raw foul-smelling murky sewage pouring into the sea after excessive runoff had overloaded local wastewater treatment facilities.

However, wastewater is unlikely the cause for skin rashes this time as it has not rained in Da Nang in recent days, meaning no overflow incidents could have occurred at the city’s sewage treatment systems, according to Dang Minh Dung, deputy director of Da Nang’s state-run drainage company.

“There are 14 overflow openings along the beach, but they have stayed completely dry over the past few days,” Dung said.

Meanwhile, the management of Da Nang beaches said it had found specimens of starfish and jellyfish at the My Khe Beach where visitors reported experiencing itchiness and skin rashes.

However, further inspection must be conducted before authorities can figure out the cause of the problem, it added.

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