Toxic algae in Canterbury lagoon

A health warning has been issued after potentially toxic blue-green algae was discovered at a North Canterbury wildlife sanctuary.

The toxic algae, known as planktonic cyanobacteria, was found in the St Annes/Mata Kopae Lagoon near Cheviot.

Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink said people and animals should avoid contact with the water until the warning had been lifted.

Dogs were particularly susceptible to health risks from the algae, but were prohibited from the lagoon already as it was a wildlife sanctuary.

The algal bloom gave a green “soupy” appearance to the water and exposure to it could cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps and tingling or numbness around the mouth and fingertips, Pink said.

 

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