Monroe County Health Department Issues Suggestions In Light Of A Possible Algal Bloom In Lake Erie!

This week, testing of a possible blue-green algae bloom, also known as cyanobacteria or harmful algal blooms (HABs), in Lake Erie at Sterling State Park and Luna Pier Beach yielded preliminary positive results, according to the Monroe County Health Department. Similar conditions can be found along the majority of Monroe County’s Lake Erie beachfront.

Until sampling for testing is finished or the bloom breaks away, MCHD advises lake visitors and locals to refrain from water-related activities and to keep dogs out of the lake water in the region where the bloom is apparent. To confirm the bloom’s presence, more sampling will continue to be done. There are warning signs all around the lake.

The production of HABs, which can be harmful to people’s and animals’ health, peaks in the summer. Algal blooms commonly take place in Michigan during warm weather, extensive sun exposure, and high nutrient concentrations.

It is advised to avoid contact with any body of water that has considerable rafts of algae on the surface because it is impossible to tell whether algal mats or hazardous toxins are present just by looking at them. For additional information regarding HABs and the environment, you can visit EGLE’s website or call them at 800-662-9278 to look for advisories or closures for waterbodies across Michigan.

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In The Regions Where The Bloom Is Apparent, You Should:

  • Avoid parts of the lake where the water is slimy, has a green sheen, or has the appearance of pea soup, spilled paint, or floating scum. These could have clusters, streaks, sheens, mats, foam, or flecks.
  • Any activities involving water should be avoided where the bloom is apparent. People who play in the water, drink significant amounts of something, or have skin contact are more likely to get sick.
  • Pets should not be allowed to drink or play in lake water. Animals generally show signs of disease more quickly than people, sometimes within minutes or within a few hours. Animals may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, exhaustion, stumbling steps, excessive salivation, convulsions, abnormal behaviour, and even death.
  • Avoid water with HABs when boating or skiing (may create water spray in the air).
  • If consuming fish and mussels from contaminated bodies of water, exercise caution.
  • Avoid watering gardens or lawns with water from impacted water bodies since it could spray water into the air.

If You Or Your Animal(S) Have Come In Contact With HABs:

  • Shower right away, both for you and any pets.
  • If you or your pet have consumed or been exposed to HABs, get in touch with your doctor or veterinarian right once.
  • If you have consumed or been exposed to water containing HABs and are experiencing symptoms, call Poison Control at 800-222-1222 or your healthcare professional.

Call the Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662-9278 or send an email to AlgaeBloom@michigan.gov to report algae that seems suspicious to EGLE.

Call MDHHS at 800-648-6942 for more details about HABs and your health. Call the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) at 800-292-3939 for information about HABs and livestock or pets. MCHD can be reached at 734-240-7900 for additional details and updates. MCHD will provide further information as it becomes available.

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