INDEPENDENT NEWS

Lake Pegasus - potential toxic blue-green algae

Published: Tue 14 Feb 2017 02:17 PM
Lake Pegasus - potential toxic blue-green algae
February 14, 2017
The Community and Public Health division of Canterbury District Health Board has issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) were found in Lake Pegasus.
Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health says the algal bloom can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals.
“People and animals, particularly dogs, should avoid contact with Lake Pegasus until the health warning has been lifted,” Dr Pink says.
“Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips. If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let them know you have had contact with the lake water.”
No one should drink the water from the lake at any time, Dr Pink says. Boiling the water does not remove the toxin.
“This bloom will be monitored on a weekly basis and the public will be advised of any changes that are of public health significance,” he says.
Facts about cyanobacteria:
• The algae occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
• If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
• Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
• Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
For further information visit https://www.ecan.govt.nz/your-region/your-environment/water/swimming-water-quality/
Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777.
ENDS
Canterbury District Health Board
CDHB
Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is a Christchurch, New Zealand based hospital and healthcare provider for the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Our region extends from Kekerengu in the North, to Rangitata in the South and Arthurs Pass in the West and comprises the six Territorial Local Authorities of Kaikoura, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Christchurch City, Selwyn and Ashburton.
We collaborate with other health and disability organisations, stakeholders and our community to decide what health and disability services are needed and how to best use the funding we receive from Government to improve, promote and protect the health, wellbeing and independence of our population.
At the Canterbury DHB, our vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Canterbury.
Contact Canterbury DHB
Website:
Facebook:
Media Contact:
natasha.capon@cdhb.health.nz

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