June 13, 2012
Public Health – Madison & Dane County
For Immediate Release Contact:
Jeff Golden 608 243 0302
Summer is Blue-Green Algae Season
Avoiding Contact is Best Way to Avoid Problems
MADISON, Wis. — Based on recent news reports and Public Health beach closing notices, this year´s blue-green algae season has clearly begun. The safest response when you see a bloom is to keep yourself, your children, and your pets out of the water and avoid all contact.
While blue-green algae often occurs intermittently throughout the summer season, the dry, hot, and sunny weather forecasted for the next seven to ten days may create favorable conditions for increased blue-green algae blooms on area waterways.
Blue-green algae are actually not algae, but photosynthetic bacteria (sunlight-loving) known as cyanobacteria. Some of these bacteria are capable of producing toxins. Exposure to these toxins can produce a range of reactions, from rashes and lip blistering to negative effects on the liver and nervous system. It can include sore throats, headaches, muscular and joint pain and asthmatic and gastro-intestinal symptoms. Dogs swimming in or drinking water covered with a bloom can suffer near fatal or fatal consequences.