September 14, 2018
The Steuben County Health Department is reminding residents to be watchful for the presence of a blue-green algae during recreational activities such as swimming, wading, and water-skiing.
Blue-green algae are organisms that grow and live in brackish or fresh waters. They can grow quickly and can increase in abundance with increased temperature, sunlight and nutrients. They are commonly called blue-green algae because of the visual appearance of the water as they live near the surface of rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs.
Exposure to a blue-green algae bloom can lead to rashes, skin and eye irritation, and other unpleasant effects such as nausea, stomach aches, and tingling in fingers and toes.
Since every lake, river or other type of waterbody in the state cannot be tested; we recommend that swimmers and boaters be careful in all recreational waters this time of year.
Precautionary measures include avoiding contact with visible algae and swallowing water while swimming. Also, it is always a good idea to take a bath or shower with warm, soapy water after swimming. If you should experience any symptoms after water recreational activities, please contact your doctor.
For further infrormation about blue-green algae, please visit the website, www.algae.in.gov.
Individuals who think they have come into contact with blue-green algae should wash with soap and warm water and follow-up with a primary care physician.
The information below regarding animal exposure to blue-green algae is provided by the Steuben SWCD; this information can be found at:
If you see blue-green algae bloom in the water or where you visit, DO NOT not allow pets or livestock to swim in or drink from areas where blooms are seen.
If pets swim in scummy water, rinse them off with soap and water immediately. Do not let them lick the algae off their fur.
Animals are susceptible to blue-green algae injury because the scum can attach to their coats and be swallowed during self-cleaning.
Clinical signs of exposure in animals to blue-green algae includes vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, weakness, and seizures. If your animal shows any of these clinical signs listed above after coming in contact with an algal bloom, contact your veterinarian immediately.