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Did Tainted Water Take the Life of a California Surfer?

Garden Grove, CA – WEBWIRE

Last month, ABC News published a story about a popular San Diego surfer who died after contracting a staph infection.  According to the report, in December the man had gone surfing with several friends despite warnings about high levels of runoff in the ocean from recent heavy rains.  In total, three of the friends reportedly became ill after surfing, but two of them fortunately recovered.
Staphylococcus aureus, commonly referred to as staph, is a type of bacteria that has long been recognized as a cause of disease in humans.  Although most of the time it does not cause harm, it can sometimes cause infections.  These range from minor skin infections to more serious infections that can even be fatal in some circumstances.  This can be especially true in healthcare settings where patients may have a weakened immune system or have undergone medical procedures that make them more susceptible to infections.
These infections may include:

  • Bacteremia or sepsis when the bacteria spread to the bloodstream.
  • Pneumonia, which predominantly affects people with underlying lung diseases.
  • Endocarditis, which can lead to heart failure or stroke.
  • Osteomyelitis, which can be caused by staph bacteria traveling in the bloodstream or put there by direct contact following trauma.

“According to the news report, the deceased had an underlying medical condition that may have made him more susceptible to developing a serious staph infection,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.  “Staph can also become resistant to certain antibiotics. Drug-resistant staph infections include Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (VISA) and Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA). Their presence can be a serious issue in contaminated water and on surfaces in homes, schools, hospitals and businesses.”
LA Testing provides environmental testing services to identify Staphylococcus aureus to help prevent outbreaks and to pinpoint its source if an outbreak is already underway.  Testing can also determine the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfecting procedures, especially in healthcare environments.  The laboratory also recently sponsored an educational video about Staphylococcus aureus that can be seen at:
To learn more about environmental testing for microbial pathogens or other health and safety testing services, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for food testing and indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals.  In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states.  LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.


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