Madison County issues algae warning

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Madison County’s health department is warning beach goers, fishers and boaters to be aware of potentially harmful algae this summer.

Most algae in water is harmless, but exposure to toxins and other substances produced by harmful algal blooms can make people and animals sick. These harmful algae blooms can impact drinking water, surface water and also recreation areas including beaches and fishing areas.

Algae bloom soften occur in nutrient-rich, shallow, stagnant water. These blooms have unpleasant odors, discolor the water and produce a scum that floats on the water’s surface. These blooms may be colored green, blue-green, yellow, brown, red or white.

Contact with algae blooms can create diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting; skin, eye or throat irritation, and allergic reactions and trouble breathing. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a healthcare provider.

Anyone seeing what may be an algae bloom is urged to avoid it, and report it to their county health department or the New York State department of Environmental Conservation at 518-402-8179.

Avoid water with floating scum or that is strongly colored. Avoid swimming, boating, or fishing in areas with discolored water.

Upon contact with an algae bloom immediately wash with soap and water and rinse with clean water.

Never drink, prepare for, cook, brush teeth or make ice with untreated water, even when no bloom is visible.

Honor temporary beach closures.

Go online to health.ny.gov/harmfulalgae or call 315-366-2526 for more information.

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