Recent bacteria advisories concern local man who fell ill after getting in ocean on last Myrtle Beach trip

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RAMSEUR, N.C. -- Popular spots at Myrtle Beach are back open for swimmers.

Last week, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control detected high bacteria levels in certain locations.

On Monday, the DHEC lifted all swimming advisories, but one North Carolina man is not taking any chances.

William Brown visited Myrtle Beach last June and fell ill after spending the weekend in the ocean.

Brown says he broke out in a sweat, felt nauseous and noticed a rash near his ankles.

"They thought that I was going to die and, shoot, I did too at the time," Brown said.

Brown was checked out at Grand Strand Health in Myrtle Beach, Randolph Hospital and the Durham VA Medical Center.

He says a doctor told him the small red blisters at the bottom of his legs were from a bacterial infection.

The most recent advisories left William questioning how officials keep track of the high numbers of bacteria.

"I know water moves and it flows. If you got a bacteria four or five blocks up it's going to be down here," Brown said.

The DHEC says advisories are usually associated with rainfall events and are typically located where stormwater runs into the ocean.

They do not advise swimming within 200 feet on either side of the posted signs and the DHEC samples the water daily until levels go back down.

Brown says he doesn't want to take any chances and canceled an upcoming weekend trip to Myrtle Beach.

"I feel like I was lucky with this. I don't want to jeopardize or put myself back in the same position, because I might not be that lucky next time," Brown said.

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