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

 


Health warning for Lake Ngaroto

Media Release

Date: 7 April 2014

CYANOBACTERIAL WARNING UPDATE: Health warning for Lake Ngaroto

A new health warning has been issued today for Lake Ngaroto, near Te Awamutu.

The lake has had a rise in the number of cyanobacteria cells and a rise in biovolume since last tested one month previously. Biovolume is the measure used to decide when a health warning should be issued.

Lake Waikare, Lake Whangape and Lake Rotoroa (Hamilton Lake) continue to have a cyanobacterial health warning in force. Waahi, Hakanoa, the other lakes that are tested regularly, all currently remain below the warning level for cyanobacteria.

Cyanobacteria are a form of algae which can produce toxins harmful to the health of humans and animals exposed to or swallowing the water where the algae are growing.

Testing is carried out by Waikato Regional Council monthly during the warmer months, and two monthly over the winter. The lakes which are tested may indicate, to some extent, cyanobacterial levels in other shallow lakes in the region.

“During blooms, lakes should not be used for any activity that involves skin contact with the affected water. Swallowing water from lakes affected by blooms should also be avoided,” Medical officer of Health Dr Richard Wall said.

“Scums are a particular risk because they contain a high level of toxins. If contact with scum does occur, skin should be rinsed clean and clothing changed as soon as possible. This warning is particularly important for children.

“If people still choose to use the lakes when warnings are in place, or any other lake where there are visible changes to water colour, they should shower and change their clothing as soon as possible afterwards, even if no symptoms are noticeable,” she said.

Symptoms include rash, skin and eye irritation; allergy symptoms such as hayfever and asthma; and possibly stomach upsets including diarrhoea and vomiting.

These symptoms may not appear until some time after contact with the affected water. Long-term exposure to cyanobacterial toxins may cause additional health risks.

Waikato Regional Council no longer routinely tests Lake Kainui; however, caution is still advised for users of this lake because of its history of cyanobacterial blooms.

Test results should be used for general guidance only, as cyanobacteria and their toxins are not evenly spread through any lake and may be concentrated in some areas by wind and water movements. Cyanobacterial blooms can happen very quickly when conditions for growth are favourable.

The Waikato DHB Population Health Service would like to be informed about health problems that develop after exposure to any of the Waikato lakes. Health advice is also available from the Population Health Service on (07) 839 8899 in and out of hours.

Up-to-date information on cyanobacterial cell counts is available from local councils and Waikato Regional Council.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Memorabilia: Te Papa Buys Peter Snell Singlet

Te Papa has purchased the singlet worn by Peter Snell at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics at an auction this morning at Cordy’s auction house in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Women At The Centre

In the first chapter of her epic History of New Zealand Women, Barbara Brookes places a version of the Māori creation story alongside that of the Pākehā colonists, setting the scene for how each society saw women. The contrast is startling. More>>

In Auckland Art Gallery: A Tour Of Duty

I had already started my journey through the exhibited collections when an audio announcement about a guided tour to embark shortly from the foyer was made, I decided to join in. Why not? More>>

Art: ‘Holiday’ Wins IHC Art Awards

An intricate embroidered cushion by Wellington artist Jo-Anne Tapiki has won the 2016 IHC Art Awards and $5000. Jo-Anne started working from IHC’s Arts on High studio in Lower Hutt 18 months ago and this is the first time she has entered the competition. More>>

‘Quasi’: Christchurch Art Gallery Reveals Rooftop Sculpture

Christchurch-born and internationally renowned artist Ronnie van Hout has had a huge hand in Christchurch Art Gallery's latest outdoor installation. More>>

Obituary: Last 28th Maori Battalion A Company Veteran Dies

Charlie Petera, the final surviving member of A-Company of the 28th Maori Battalion has died at his home in Ngataki, Northland last night surrounded by his whanau. He was 91 years old. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news