News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Health warning for Ashley River/ Rakahuri

Cantabrians should check the status of local waterways for toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) this summer, following more health warnings issued for the region today.

The Community and Public Health division of the Canterbury District Health board have issued a health warning for the Ashley River/ Rakahuri at the Rangiora - Loburn Bridge

The warning comes after the latest Environment Canterbury monitoring results show there are increased concentrations of potentially toxic cyanobacteria in these waterways.

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says people and animals should stay out of the river until the health warnings have been lifted.

The cyanobacteria at the Ashley River mostly comprises of Phormidium – a cyanobacteria which forms thick dark brown/black mats on the bed of the river.

“People and animals, particularly dogs, should avoid these waterways. Animals that show signs of illness after coming into contact with river water or Phormidium mats should be taken to a vet immediately.”

Reticulated town water supplies are currently safe but no one should drink the water from the river at any time , Dr Humphrey says.

“Boiling the water does not remove toxins. Symptoms from toxic exposure to the cyanobacteria range from rapid onset of nausea and diarrhoea, to gastroenteritis and other effects such as tingling and numbness around the mouth, fingertips, as well as liver damage,” Dr Humphrey says.

“If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with the river water.”

Fish can concentrate toxins and their consumption should be avoided. If fish are eaten, remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water.

Environment Canterbury monitors the river during summer and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality that are of public health significance.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

• It occurs naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.

• Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.

• Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.

• It appears as dark brown/black mats attached to rocks along the riverbed.

• It often has a strong musty smell and algal toxin concentrations can vary over short periods with changing environmental conditions.

• Although high river levels will remove the algal bloom, detached mats can accumulate along the shore and increase the risk of exposure to toxins.

• If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.

• Although district or city councils may place warning signs, these may not be seen at the numerous river access points, hence the need for people/ dog-walkers to treat every low-flowing river cautiously.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: Henry Rollins Burning Down The House

With his lantern jaw, close-cropped hair, and muscle-bound physique, Henry Rollins could not be further from the US Marine image his appearance might suggest. More>>

A Series Of Tubes: 150 Years Of The Cook Strait Cable

“It was a momentous achievement for its time. The successful connection came on the third attempt at laying the cable, and followed a near disaster when the first cable snapped - almost destroying the ship Weymouth in the process,” says Ms Adams. More>>

ALSO:

February 2017: Guns N' Roses - New Zealand Dates Announced

Founder Axl Rose and former members, Slash and Duff McKagan have regrouped for one of the century’s most anticipated tours... Rolling Stone said: "This was the real thing, the thing we'd all been waiting for: the triumphant return of one of the most important bands to cross rock music history. And it happened in our lifetime.” More>>

Werewolf: Brando, Peckinpah And Billy The Kid

Gordon Campbell: Initially, One-Eyed Jacks was supposed to have been directed by Stanley Kubrick from a script by Sam Peckinpah – yet it quickly became Brando’s baby... More>>

Book Awards: ANZAC Heroes Wins Margaret Mahy Book Of The Year

“Simply stunning, with gold-standard production values,” say the judges of the winner of this year’s Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award in the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. ANZAC Heroes is also the winner of the Elsie Locke Award for the Best Book in the Non-Fiction category. More>>

Baby Animals: Hamilton Zoo Rhino Calf Named

Hamilton Zoo’s latest rhino calf has been named Samburu and he's being celebrated with a unique zoo experience... Samburu arrived after his mother Kito’s 16-month pregnancy and the calf brings the number of white rhinos at Hamilton Zoo to six. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news