Algal blooms reported for 16 US states so far this summer

23 July 2013

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So far this summer, and its not over yet, sixteen states in the USA have reported problems with potentially-toxic algae in their lakes! (see map).

Lake Nipissing makes a return to CyanoAlert again this year – with cyanobacteria found in Musky Bay.  A first to this blog, though, is a report for Craigavon Lakes in Ireland – where the report says high concentrations of algal cells have been detected!

Six lakes in Kansas are still off limits. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says the lakes are Buhler City Lake in Reno County, Colwich City Lake in Sedgwick County, Logan City Lake in Phillips County, Memorial Park Lake in Barton County, Riggs Park Lake in Sedgwick County and South Park Lake in Johnson County.

At two other Kansas lakes, direct water contact is discouraged. Those lakes are Marion Reservoir in Marion County and Milford Lake in Dickinson and Geary counties.

Kansas is certainly on their game when it comes to providing information about toxic algae – and their KDHE has on-line reporting forms for human and animal incidents where poisonings are suspected.  The following general information – useful to everyone who may come into contact with blue-green algae – also comes from their website:

What are blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae naturally occur in inland waters and blooms can form when their numbers become excessive. The behaviour of these algae is erratic and the level of its toxicity can fluctuate; it can appear one day, be dispersed by the wind and, mix and re-accumulate at any time.

How can blue-green algae affect you and your animals?

Blue-green algal blooms can produce toxins hazardous to both people and animals. These toxins can cause severe illness and kill animals.

The toxins can also cause the following illness in people who’ve swallowed or swam through algal scum – skin rashes, eye irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, muscle and joint pain. Although algal scum isn’t always harmful to people, the illness can be severe in some cases.

If there are any signs of illness after contact with the water, seek medical advice.

Toxic algae have caused deaths of livestock and dogs. Pet owners should keep their animals away from affected waters. If there are any signs of illness in your animal after contact with the water, seek immediate veterinary advice


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