Northern Health is warning swimmers about the potential presence of blue-green algae in area lakes.
Environmental Health Officer David Ho…
“Essentially if it is really strong you would notice a blue or green or bluish color and it will look like a mossy or grass clipping like on the surface on the lake and that is a tell tale sign that there is a blue green algae bloom happening. ”
Ho says there are many times where it is colorless however and he says the best bet is to avoid lakes that traditionally have had it.
As for symptoms, he says they can range from mild to severe depending on the route of exposure…
“So if the water was inhaled or drank then it can be quite severe. Nausea, headache to numbness in your extremities. However if it is limited to skin contact then essentially you would be developing a rash and irritation and the best way to remedy all that is to get to a shower as quickly as you can. You can also get some water from your water bottle and try to wash those exposed parts and quickly dry yourself with a towell.”
Ho cautions that it can have a fatal effect on pets and he suggests keeping dogs on a leash.