AHS issues blue-green algae advisory for Gregoire Lake

Alberta Health Services is issuing an advisory for blue-green algae in Gregoire Lake.

Also known as Cyanobacteria, AHS states it has been identified in the waters at the lake.

AHS is advising you to take the following precautions:

· Avoid all contact with cyanobacterial blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.

· Do not swim or wade or allow your pets to swim or wade in any areas where cyanobacteria is visible. 

· Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to your pets.

· Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver. (People can safely consume fish fillets from this lake).

· Do not use water contaminated with cyanobacteria to water edible plants. This is particularly important for plants with edible parts exposed to the ground surface (such as cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, and other salad vegetables).

AHS says that an alternative source of drinking water should be provided for pets and livestock, while this advisory is active.

The health service says blue-green algae is naturally occurring, and often becomes visible when weather conditions are calm. It appears like scum, grass clippings, fuzz, or globs on the surface of water, and can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, and/or pinkish-red, and often smell musty or grassy.

AHS states those who come in contact with blue-green algae or ingest water containing it may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days according to AHS.

AHS says the exposure of the bacteria to pets may be fatal.

If you suspect a problem related to cyanobacteria or if you require further information on health concerns and cyanobacteria, please call Health Link at 811. Additional information is also available online, at www.ahs.ca/bga.

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