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GRDA: Public Advised To Stay Out Of Grand Lake Waters

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View from SkyNews 6 of blue-green algae on Grand Lake. View from SkyNews 6 of blue-green algae on Grand Lake.
A sign warns Grand Lake visitors of the toxic nature of blue green algae. A sign warns Grand Lake visitors of the toxic nature of blue green algae.
Temporary fencing blocks off part of Grand Lake with high levels of BGA. Temporary fencing blocks off part of Grand Lake with high levels of BGA.

NewsOn6.com

UNDATED -- The Grand River Dam Authority Board of Directors is advising people to stay out of Grand Lake just before one of the biggest holiday weekends of the year. The reason? Blue green algae.

"We strongly discourage any body contact with the water at this point," said GRDA Corporate Communications Director Justin Alberty.

"That means no swimming or any other activities that would bring you into contact with lake water."

The reason for the advisory is the rapidly changing conditions of the BGA levels and areas in the lake, Alberty said. Earlier in the week, BGA was confirmed in several locations at Grand Lake. 

Alberty said that after further monitoring, it appears there is the potential for the algae to be in all the major coves and areas of the main lake.

6/30/2011 Related Story: GRDA Board Calls Emergency Meeting Over Blue Green Algae In Grand Lake

"Test results from late Thursday afternoon showed BGA toxicity at higher levels than before, and this is a situation that continues to develop rapidly. We strongly discourage anyone from getting into the lake at this point," he said.

BGA are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams, usually in low numbers. However, the algae can become abundant in shallow, warm water that gets heavy sunlight.

While most BGA are not toxic, toxins can be produced in some algae blooms. That is what has occurred on Grand Lake and continues to develop.

The advisory is taking place just as the lake community gears up for one of the biggest weekends of the year its with annual 4th of July fireworks shows.

Signs of illnesses people and animals can get from exposure to blue green algae (cyanobacteria).

Contact with skin:

  • Rash, hives or skin blisters, especially on the lips and under swimsuits
  • Runny eyes and nose, sore throat, asthma-like symptoms or allergic reactions

If swallowed:

  • Acute gastroenteritis including diarrhea and vomiting
  • Liver poisoning
  • Kidney poisoning
  • Neurotoxicity – numb lips, tingling fingers and toes, dizziness. Dogs experience salivation, weakness, staggering, difficult breaking, convulsions and death

If you suspect you or your pet is suffering from exposure to blue green algae, seek medical treatment.

Find out more from the Centers For Disease Controls.

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