INDEPENDENT NEWS

Health Warning – Algal Bloom In Lake Pegasus

Published: Fri 19 Feb 2021 02:08 PM
Canterbury DHB’s Community and Public Health unit has issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) was found in Lake Pegasus.
People should avoid the lake and animals, particularly dogs, should not be allowed near the water until the health warning has been lifted.
Canterbury DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ramon Pink says the algal bloom can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals so people should avoid contact with the water until further notice.
“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 let them know if you have had contact with the lake water,” Dr Pink says.
No one should drink the water from the lake at any time. Boiling the water does not remove the toxin.
Animals that show signs of illness after coming into contact with algal mats or scums should be taken to a vet immediately.
Lake Pegasus is being monitored on a weekly basis and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.
Facts about cyanobacteria:Cyanobacteria occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.Algal blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).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 details visit: https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/
Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777:
https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/
For more information about Mahinga Kai:
https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/saf0112.pdf
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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