Warning issued for blue-green algae on Isle Lake

Warning issued for blue-green algae on Isle Lake

Alberta Health Services has issued a warning for Isle Lake after cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, was found.

People living near or visiting the lake should avoid any contact with the blue-green algae and are urged not to swim or wade in areas where they can be seen.

According to AHS, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including: skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Symptoms usually occur within a few hours and may be more severe in children.

If contact does occur, wash with tap water as soon as possible.

AHS also encourages people to limit their consumption of fish from this lake, but does not feed fish to pets.

Pets are also not allowed to swim or wade in parts of the lake where blue-green algae is present, as exposure can be fatal.

Health officials say pets and livestock should be provided with an alternative source of drinking water while the advisory is in effect.

Cyanobacteria like foam, grass clippings, fluff or clumps on the water surface and are naturally occurring, becoming visible when conditions are calm. It can be blue-green, green-brown, brown or pinkish-red in colour.

Weather and wind can cause algae blooms to move from one place to another in the lake.

According to AHS, areas where blooms are not visible can still be used for recreational purposes, even with the health advisory in place.