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Health warning issued for Okawa Bay, Lake Rotoiti

MEDIA RELEASE

Health warning issued for Okawa Bay, Lake Rotoiti

A health warning has been issued for Okawa Bay on Lake Rotoiti as routine monitoring results provided by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council have confirmed blooms of blue-green algae which are potentially toxic.

“Blue-green algae are present in Okawa Bay at levels that may result in adverse health effects and so it is advisable for people to avoid contact with the water,” says Dr Neil de Wet, Medical Officer of Health.

Contact with algal blooms can cause asthma and hayfever attacks in susceptible individuals, as well as skin rashes, stomach upsets, and in some cases neurological effects such as tingling around the mouth, headaches, breathing difficulties and visual problems.

Signage will be erected at Okawa Bay advising potential lake users about the algal bloom.  Monitoring will continue and any changes in advice will be communicated accordingly.  The public can obtain up-to-date information on this health warning and others for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts through these channels:

§  Phone: 0800 221 555
§  Website: www.ttophs.govt.nz/health_warnings
§  Twitter: www.twitter.com/ttophs
§  Email alerts for subscribers: www.ttophs.govt.nz/alert

ENDS

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