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Algal Bloom Warning For Lake Tutira

Algal Bloom Warning For Lake Tutira

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Public Health Unit has issued a health warning following the discovery of cyanobacteria algal bloom in Lake Tutira, Hawke’s Bay.

Testing of the lake was carried out by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council as part of its regular Recreational Water Monitoring Programme.

Exposure to cyanobacteria and its toxins can have health effects, including severe skin rashes and stomach upsets, and can spark hay fever and asthma attacks.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Caroline McElnay, said that people should not swim in Lake Tutira, or pursue any other recreational activities which will involve significant contact with the lake water.

It is important that the lake water is not used for drinking or cooking purposes, and it is recommended that water activity that involves actual contact with the water (eg swimming) or potential contact (eg falling out of a kayak) is avoided at Lake Tutira until the health warning is lifted, she said..

“If you think you may have been in contact with the bloom and experience any of the symptoms (i.e. severe skin rash, stomach upset, hay fever or asthma attack) you should contact a doctor.

“There is no specific treatment other than managing the symptoms. Any accidental splashes of lake water onto skin should be rinsed with clean water.

“Dog owners should also keep their dogs away from contact with the lake water, Dr McElnay said

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is holding the Tutira Country Park Open Day this Sunday 30 November.

The open day will continue as normal with activities for the family but the Canadian canoes at the lake have been cancelled and visitors will be advised of the health warning.

Monitoring of the situation will continue, and signs are being erected at Lake Tutira.

To get the latest information ring the Public Health Unit "Safe Swimming Line" 06 878 1368.

ENDS

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