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Water-Related News

Blue-green algae warning issued for Lake, Seminole waterways

Health officials in Lake and Seminole counties issued Blue-green algae alert Monday.

The Florida Department of Health said it found harmful blue-green algal toxins in both Lake Howell in Seminole County as well as the Dead River residential canal south of U.S. Highway 441 which connects Lake Eustis and Lake Harris in Lake County. The findings came from samples taken on June 9.

Blue-green algae can harm both the freshwater and brackish ecosystems, but also in some cases be toxic to humans if ingested, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

If toxic, the cyanobacteria can cause nausea, vomiting and even liver failure in severe cases.

Officials advised people to not drink, swim or use watercraft in waters where an algae bloom is visible; wash skin and clothing with soap and water if they come into contact with the algae or discolored or smelly water; keep pets away from the area; don’t cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms; or eat shellfish from water with the blooms.

Fish caught from freshwater lakes is safe, the DOH stated, advising people to rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.