Blue-green algae; a potential concern in Northern B.C. waters
Northern Health wants residents to be on the lookout for blue-green algae.
Northern Health Spokesperson, Eryn Collins said it poses several health risks if people come in contact.
“People who come in contact with visible blue-green algae, or who ingest water containing toxins from blue-green algae, may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting or diarrhea.”
Signs of contact usually present within one to three hours and last up to three days.
Collins said it can look like scum, grass clippings, or fuzz on top of the water and does not always look blue or green, adding the algae can also be brown or even red and pink.
“It is important that visitors and residents do not drink or cook with untreated water directly from any lake at any time. Boiling lake water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae.”
Blue-green algae (supplied by Northern Health)