Blue-green algae toxins found in 2 East Providence bodies of water

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Turner Reservoir and Central Pond in East Providence have a blue-green algae bloom, and people are advised to avoid recreational activities there.

The Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said in a joint news release that a widespread bloom was detected at the reservoir and pond, and water samples confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria.

Swimming, boating and fishing should be avoided in both areas, and people should be careful not to ingest water or eat fish from either body of water. Pets should not be allowed to drink the water or swim in it.

The advisory is likely to remain in effect through year’s end, the news release said. Toxins may persist after the algal bloom is no longer visible.

Skin rashes and irritation of the nose, eyes and throat are common side effects of skin contact, and stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea are common effects of ingesting the toxins. Small children and pets are more likely to get sick because they are more likely to ingest the water.

More serious health effects, which are more rare, include dizziness, headache, fever, liver damage, and nervous system damage, the news release said.

If you come in contact with either body of water, the Health Department advises that you rinse the skin with clean water as soon as possible and take a shower and wash your clothes when you get home.

Pets should be washed with clean water before they lick the algae from their coats. If the pet shows symptoms such as loss of energy or appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or any unexplained sickness, contact a veterinarian.

People who have been in contact with either body of water and experience symptoms are advised to contact their health-care provider.


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