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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Health is reminding residents of the risks that come with blue-green algae.

The health authority says that with rising temperatures, algae blooms could appear across lakes in northern B.C.

People who come in contact with visible blue-green algae, or who ingest water containing blue-green algae, may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days. Symptoms in children are more pronounced.

Residents living near the shores of lakes, as well as visitors and those making day-
use of lakes, are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid all contact with blue-green algae blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap
    water as soon as possible.
  • Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where
    blue-green algae is visible.
  • As a reminder, Northern Health recommends that visitors and residents do not
    drink or cook with untreated water directly from any lake at any time. Boiling
    lake water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae.
  • An alternate source of drinking water should also be provided for pets and
    livestock. Pet owners should be wary of allowing pets to walk off-leash where
    they may be able to drink lake water – illnesses are a common outcome.

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