Blue-Green Algae Bloom In Paint Lake, Lake Of Bays

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit would like to inform residents and visitors to the Township of Lake of Bays that laboratory analysis has confirmed the presence of a bluegreen algae bloom impacting  the northwest end of Paint Lake, Lake of Bays Township (Bay near HWY 117 and Speers Road area).

Many species of bluegreen algae (also called cyanobacteria) have the potential to produce toxins that are harmful to the health of humans and animals when exposed in large amounts. Due to the confirmed  presence of the bloom, we are asking resident and visitors to exercise caution that toxins may also be present.

As a precautionary measure, the health unit urges residents and businesses to avoid drinking water from this lake where bluegreen algae is visible and to take the following precautions:

do not use the lake water for the preparation of infant formula

do not allow pets or livestock to drink or swim in the water where an algae bloom is visible

be cautious about eating fish caught in water where bluegreen algae blooms occur

do not use herbicides, copper sulphate or other algaecides that may break open algae cells and  release toxins into the water 
avoid water sport activities where an algae bloom is visible.

“I strongly recommend seeking medical attention if symptoms such as skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties occur while in contact with the bloom.” said Dr. Charles Gardner Medical Officer Of Health “Anyone who comes into contact with bluegreen algae should wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water.” He added.

Swimming, bathing or showering with water not visibly affected by a bluegreen algae bloom is not  expected to cause health effects.

The health unit and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks will continue to work together to monitor the algal bloom and updates will be provided on our website www.smdhu.org.

For further information, call Your Health Connection Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 7057217520 or 18777217520. Links to general information and updates about bluegreen algae are  available on the health unit website at
www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.

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