Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


ORC warns of possible emergence of toxic algal bloom

MEDIA RELEASE


December 3, 2012

ORC warns of possible emergence of toxic algal bloom

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) is warning people to be wary of the possible presence of toxic algae in rivers and lakes throughout the Otago region this summer.

ORC director of environmental information and science John Threlfall said toxic algae occurs naturally in a wide range of water quality conditions, including relatively clean waters. It is more likely to be present during the summer months than at any other time of the year.

In rivers, Phormidium is a common toxic algae which typically forms a thick brown-black slimy algae mat found on large rocks, stones, and cobbles, Dr Threlfall said

If the mats detach, they may float downstream to become caught up in other debris such as sticks. When the Phormidium mats die and dry out, they become light brown or white. Either fresh or dried, it can be highly toxic and harmful to humans and animals.
This is especially true for dogs, as they are particularly susceptible to poisoning from both mat-forming and free-floating toxic algae.

“Many dogs enjoy being in the water and can eat these algae intentionally or by accident, which can have tragic results,” Dr Threlfall said.

Symptoms of poisoning in animals exposed to the type of toxins present in Phormidium mats include lethargy, muscle tremors, fast breathing, twitching, paralysis, and convulsions. In extreme cases, death can occur within 30 minutes after signs first appear.

Toxic algal blooms are commonly blue-green in lakes or still water, but can also be red or yellow.

They typically form thick scums on the surface, and may also develop foams at the water's edge. In Otago toxic algal blooms in lakes do not occur regularly.

If an algal bloom is present, people have been known to develop allergic reactions such as asthma, eye irritations, rashes, blistering around the mouth and nose, and gastro-intestinal disorders, including abdominal pain, cramps, and diarrhoea.


Dr Threlfall said any reaction depends on the type of toxic algae, the type of toxins present, and the concentration of the toxin in the water.

“The higher the concentration of algae toxins and the longer the contact with the water, the more severe the symptoms are likely to be,” he said.


Where humans become ill or are suspected of being ill after swallowing water containing algal bloom, medical advice should be sought immediately. Likewise, if animals become sick, a veterinarian should be contacted.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greek Riddles:
Gordon Campbell On The Recent Smackdown Over Greece

There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza government in Greece and the European Union “troika” and… no-one seems entirely sure what happened. Did the asteroid miss Earth?

It seems to have. The EU still exists. Syriza is now claiming a victory of sorts. It doesn’t help that the only people who do appear to be sure (the Greeks buckled) are claiming the exact opposite to what the other group (the Greeks won!) are saying. Plus, there are bets either way e.g. Bloomberg News: “Its too early to say who caved in to whom.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news