Cayuga County Health Department reminds residents of blue-green algae protocol

[USA] This summer, the Cayuga County Health Department reminds residents to be cautious around algal blooms in county lakes, rivers and streams.

Determining the presence of harmful cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, can be difficult, Director of Environmental Health Eileen O’Connor said in a statement, because it can be present amid non-harmful algae blooms.

Blue-green algae is concerning because it potentially poses health risks to people and animals when they are exposed to large enough blooms. Health effects may present after contact with skin or being swallowed swimming.

Consuming water containing blue-green algae has been associated with effects on the liver and nervous system in pets, livestock and people. Direct contact, or breathing airborne droplets containing cyanobacteria during swimming or showering can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat.

The health department recommends the following:

  • People should suspect blue-green algae could be present in surface water with scum or that is visibly discolored.
  • People and pets should not swim in surface water with scum or that’s discolored. If contact occurs, wash with soap and water, rinse thoroughly.
  • Avoid bathing, showering or washing dishes in untreated surface water that’s experiencing an algal bloom.
  • Do not let pets drink water experiencing blue-green algal blooms.

Be encouraged to call the Environmental Health Division at (315) 253-1405 if blue-green algal blooms are suspected. For more information visit cayugacounty.us/environmental.

 

Photo: Algae start blooming during summer months.

View original article at: Cayuga County Health Department reminds residents of blue-green algae protocol

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