Blue-Green Algae Bloom Update (August 16, 2011)

Toxicology results have confirmed low levels of microcystin-LR in the eastern leg of Sturgeon Lake. The good news is that the toxin levels were very low – in fact, they were lower than the acceptable level for this toxin in drinking water. (Note: This doesn’t mean that the lake water is safe to drink!)

The upshot is that the presence of a potentially toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) species has been confirmed, and a low level of the associated toxin has also been confirmed. The water remains cloudy, and therefore the the precautionary warning will remain in effect until further notice. Environmental inspectors are examining the local waters regularly, and the Health Unit will lift the warning only after they feel that the algae bloom has subsided. No further toxicology testing is planned at this time.

The regional Health Unit has no evidence of increased illness or health impact from the recent algae bloom. The Health Unit warns that the blue-green algae may continue to pose a health risk. Drinking the lake water is not advised, and please note that simple skin contact with this algae may result in rashes, swollen lips, and other symptoms.

Please continue to exercise caution when considering whether to swim in the lake in the coming days.

1 thought on “Blue-Green Algae Bloom Update (August 16, 2011)”

  1. During he August outbreak of blue green algae my 9 yr. old daughter got extremely sick and had every single sympton that presents itself with the toxin poisoning. We called telehealth and they told us to take our daughter immediately to a hospital to rule out the toxic poisoning. After 5 hours in Lindsay hospital and still a wait of 15-25 people ahead of us, we brought her to Minden. Couldn’t believe it when doctor said he had not heard of it and had to check the internet for information. A couple of weeks ago, the Ministry was still testing for it so the doctor said he wouldn’t do any testing on my daughter since the algae wasn’t confirmed in our lake yet. I also put a dog down this week who frequently drank from the lake and even though he was old, during the last two weeks he deteriorated so rapidly that we were shocked his end days would come on so quickly. The point here is this, if you see the lake is green, do suspect that there is a problem. If your water smells coming out ot the tap or shower, don’t drink it. Be cautious of the warnings that the public health departments put out, or the Ministry of Environment, etc. They won’t report the whole story because it alarms too many people. The postings at the beaches are few and far between. Be vigilant on your own and be careful if you suspect something. Don’t rely on our health care system to help you beause one department doesn’t even seem to be communicating with our hospitals. Take your health in your own hands and be responsible for following precautionary measures. P.S. my daughter got better after 5 days but my dog is dead.

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