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Health warning in place for bay at Lake Rotoehu

Health warning in place for bay at Lake Rotoehu

Potentially harmful levels of algal blooms of cyanobacteria have been confirmed in Otautu Bay in Lake Rotoehu.

A health warning is now in place and signs are being erected to warn people not to use the area for swimming or recreational activities that involve significant contact with water.

“It is not unusual for blooms to appear in this part of the lake at this time of year,” says Toi Te Ora – Public Health Medicine Registrar Dr Neil de Wet. “We will be monitoring Lake Rotoehu as well as other lakes in the district on a weekly basis.”

He says other lakes in the Rotorua District appear to be free of bloom activity but this could quickly change, depending mainly on weather conditions.

“The blooms can quickly spread from one bay to another within a lake so users must be cautious at all times,” says Neil de Wet. “If the water looks discoloured, there is a scum on the surface, or the water smells unusual, don’t go in.”

Exposure to cyanobacteria (the micro-organism that causes the bloom) and its toxins can cause severe skin rashes, stomach upset, and can spark hayfever and asthma attacks. The toxins also have the capacity to affect the nervous system and liver function.


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