Officials: People urged to avoid contact with algae in 2 WNC lak - FOX Carolina 21

Officials: People urged to avoid contact with algae in 2 WNC lakes

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Algae in a lake (Source: NCDWR) Algae in a lake (Source: NCDWR)

Officials with the North Carolina Division of Water Resources are urging people to stay away from algae blooms at Waterville Lake in Haywood County and the Tuckasegee arm of Fontana Lake in Swain County.

Officials said tests confirmed the presence of Microcystis, Aphanizomenon and Anabaena in the lakes. All are members of the bluegreen family of algae, which can contain toxins and have the potential for health risks.

North Carolina has had no reports of adverse health effects in people associated with these algal blooms.

Health officials say it is still safe to boat and fish in the area, people are discouraged from swimming in or ingesting water in which large accumulations of algea are present.

Officials said people should take these steps to safeguard pets and children from any potentially harmful algal bloom:

  • Keep children and pets away from water that appears bright green, discolored or scummy. Do not handle or touch large mats of algae.
  • Avoid handling, cooking or eating dead fish that may be present.
  • If you come into contact with an algal bloom, wash thoroughly. Also, use clean water to rinse off pets that may have come into contact with an algal bloom.
  • If your child appears ill after being in waters containing an algal bloom, seek medical care immediately.
  • If your pet appears to stumble, stagger or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river, seek veterinary care immediately.

Learn more about algae here.

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