BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Two sections of beach in Harrison County remain closed, as of Wednesday night, after Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality officials said sewage spills made it unsafe for swimming. Now a Coast mother says she believes something in the beach water caused her child to develop a painful bacterial infection.
Kourtney Smith said her 3-year-old daughter had no problems before visiting the beach with other family members last Thursday. Smith said she is unsure exactly where her relatives went on the Biloxi beach. However, as WLOX reported last week, a mile and a half section of Biloxi Beach was closed Thursday after test showed high bacteria levels.
Smith said Micah hasn't been eating or sleeping well since returning from that outing.
"She brought her home about 3:30, 4 o'clock," said Smith. "I got her and I was looking at her foot because it looked kind of weird. I noticed there were rashes on it. What started out looking like a blister turned into this. There were holes all in her toe, like it was eating all the way through the toe."
Smith said at first she tried to deal with it herself.
"I tried using anti-fungal cream, because I thought it was a fungus," said Smith. "So I took her to the doctor on Monday because she was running high fever and her foot was swollen like a golf ball, her ankle. They told me that was a bacterial infection."
Doctors gave the child two prescriptions that treat skin bacterial infections. Smith said she's happy the medicines seem to be working on Micah's foot, but she's concerned the infection is spreading to other areas from the girl touching her foot then touching other parts of her body.
"You see there on her nose. Then on her lip and there's a spot right there on her eyebrow," said Smith.
Smith said there is a clear discharge coming from the infected areas. She said the doctors said if Micah's infection doesn't clear up over the next few days to bring her back in, but she's hoping that won't be necessary.
Kourtney Smith said doctors did not tell her what kind of bacterial infection her daughter has. However, it is not believed to be vibrio. WLOX checked with the Mississippi Health Department and officials said there have been no cases of vibrio reported in our state in the last month and medical facilities report such instances right away.