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Friday October 4th, 2013

Posted at 4:02pm

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Medical Officer of Health Dr. G. Allen Heimann is alerting area residents that a blue-green algae bloom has formed in Lake Erie. Wind conditions could move the blue-green algae bloom towards Leamington, which could affect the water quality along the shoreline. Residents and visitors are being asked not to swim in the water.

Blue-green algae are microscopic plants that occur naturally in fresh water lakes. In warm weather with the right nutrients and low wind, they can form a large mass called a bloom. These blooms can make the water appear bluish-green, can form solid looking clumps, and may contain toxins that can be dangerous to your health and the health of your animals. The most common toxin produced in a bloom is called microcystins.

Contact with microcystins can produce the following negative health effects:

Skin Contact
Itchy, irritated eyes and skin if you swim in contaminated water. This includes pets and livestock animals.

If Swallowed

Small quantities – headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
Large quantities – more serious health effects may occur.

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