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

 
Howard Davis: Christopher Marlowe & 'The Tragedy Of Dr. Faustus'

Previous versions of 'The Devil's Pact' can be traced back to the fourth century, Marlowe deviated significantly by depicting his protagonist as unable to burn his books or repent to a merciful God in order to have his contract annulled... More>>

ALSO:

Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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