Officials warn of algae bloom health effects

SPRINGFIELD (WEEK) — While most blue-green algae are a natural part of Illinois’ ecosystems, officials are warning those near lakes, rivers, streams and ponds to beware that some of that algae can produce toxic chemicals.

Depending on the amount and type of exposure, people and pets can be come sick and have other health effects. Recent reports have shown that some dogs have died when coming into contact with the blue-green algae.

If you are looking to recreate on or in Illinois waters, officials warn to avoid contact with water that:

  • looks like spilled green or blue-green paint
  • has surface scums, mats, or films
  • is discolored or has green-colored streaks
  • has greenish globs suspended in the water below the surface

People are also advised to keep children and pets out of the water. Do not allow pets to drink from the water and do not allow them to lick their fur after swimming in water containing a blue-green algae bloom. If you or your pet has contact with water you suspect may have a blue-green algae bloom, rinse off with clean, fresh water as soon as possible.

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