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MailTribune.com
  • Blue-green algae bloom in Lost Creek Lake prompts health warning

  • Health officials this afternoon warned people and pets to steer clear of Lost Creek Lake water due to a blue-green algae bloom at Jackson County's largest water body.
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  • Health officials this afternoon warned people and pets to steer clear of Lost Creek Lake water due to a blue-green algae bloom at Jackson County's largest water body.
    The volunteer advisory at the lake is the first such advisory the Oregon Health Authority has issued this year in the state, where lakes and ponds rack up about a dozen such advisories annually.
    Water monitoring by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the lake 30 miles north of Medford shows blue-green algae that can produce toxins, making any ingestion of water potentially dangerous, according to health officials.
    Oregon health officials recommend that people who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking. Toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues.
    Boating and fishing are considered safe so long as boat speeds do not create excessive water spray, according to health officials.
    Exposure to toxins can produce symptoms of numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems, and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen.
    Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity.
    The public will be advised when the concern no longer exists.
    While the toxins associated with the algae blooms have killed at least four dogs in Oregon in recent years, no human sickness or death has been directly linked to blue-green algae toxins, according to health officials.
    — Mark Freeman
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