Harmful algal blooms have been common in recent years
during the latter half of the summer on lakes within Cayuga County.
Harmful algal blooms, also known as cyanobacteria, are of
concern as they can produce toxins that could pose a health risk to people and
animals when they are exposed to them in large enough quantities. Health effects could occur when the blooms
are swallowed while swimming or through contact with the skin.
Consuming water containing high
levels of harmful algal blooms has been associated with effects on the liver and on
the nervous system in laboratory animals, pets, livestock, and people. Direct contact or breathing airborne droplets
containing high levels of harmful algal bloom toxins during swimming or showering
can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat and inflammation in the
respiratory tract. If you are experiencing symptoms from a potential harmful algal bloom exposure, you should contact your physician and the Cayuga County Health
Department at 315-253-1405
Pet owners should keep their pets
away from water experiencing algae blooms.
If animals ingest the toxins either through drinking or cleaning their
fur after exposure, they can become sick quickly.
As a reminder, the Cayuga County Health Department
encourages the community and visitors to: Know It, Avoid It and Report It.