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Toxic algae health advisory issued for all of Upper Klamath Lake

Herald and News - 9/5/2017

A toxic algae advisory has been issued for all of Upper Klamath Lake by the Oregon Health Authority, according to a news release.

The agency previously issued a health advisory for Howard Bay in Upper Klamath LakeJuly 28, and updated it to include Shoalwater BayAug. 8.

Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae and the toxins they produce in Upper Klamath Lake. These toxin concentrations can be harmful to humans and animals.

People should always avoid areas of water with visible scum that looks foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red. Swimming and high-speed water activities such as water skiing or power boating where ingestion and inhalation exposure can occur is discouraged. Swallowing or inhaling water droplets as a result of these water activities in areas where a bloom has been identified, or an advisory issued, can expose people to the toxins being produced. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities that come into contact with a bloom may experience a puffy, red rash at the affected area.

Exposure to toxins can produce a variety of symptoms including numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems, and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity.

The advisory will be lifted when the concern no longer exists.

OHA maintains a list of all health advisories on its website. To learn if an advisory has been issued or lifted for a specific water body, visit healthoregon.org/hab and select “algae bloom advisories,” or call the Oregon Public Health Division toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

 
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