Medicine

Toxic algae can harm dogs, NY officials warn

Toxic algae can harm dogs, NY officials warn

Dr. Ifeoma Achebe, medical officer of health with AHS Central Zone, said the algae is very toxic and the reaction can be serious.

Fish can intake toxins from the algae as well.

The toxin can propagate quickly if weather is favorable.

People who come in contact with visible blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), or who ingest water containing blue-green algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea.

As a result, County Environmental Health officials shut down Lakewood Village Beach last Tuesday, and the beach will remain closed until testing shows the level of toxins in the algae have decreased.

Levels of the toxin near Mill Cove on Doctors Lake showed levels almost five times higher than those taken at the center of the lake.

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St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said water samples taken the week of July 10 detected the presence of microcystin toxin in the Clay County lake that feeds into the St. Johns River.

"Unfortunately, most of these algal blooms that are occurring in Doctors Lake and the St. Johns River have the potential to produce unsafe toxins", said Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, the nonprofit organization that advocates for the river.

Westchester blooms have been confirmed at Mohegan Lake and Lake Rippowam in South Salem.

How can I report a possible HAB in New York State?

Cyanobacteria, a blue-green algae, is a potent toxin that can cause damage to the liver and nervous system and result in burns to the skin. There are now no official health advisories issued around the lake.

If you suspect a problem related to blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), or if you require further information on health concerns and blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), please call Health Link at 811.


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