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

 
IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>

ALSO:

NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

Kid Lit: Lost Mansfield Story Discovered At Wellington Library

Previously undiscovered letters and a story written by a young Katherine Mansfield were recently unearthed in Wellington City Library’s archives by a local author researching a book about the famous writer. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland