A health warning has been issued today for Lake Maraetai. The health warning is based on the results released today for levels of cyanobacteria, or algal bloom, in water samples provided by the Waikato Regional Council.
“It is important to avoid any activity which results in contact with the lake water,” says Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health.
Cyanobacteria can release toxins which can trigger asthma and hayfever symptoms, skin rashes, stomach upsets, and in some cases neurological effects such as tingling around the mouth, headaches, breathing difficulties and visual problems.
“Algal mats and scum may also accumulate along the shoreline of the lake and so it’s especially important that parents ensure that children avoid contact with these as they may be toxic,” says Dr Miller.
Dogs are particularly at risk and should also be kept away from the shoreline. Elsewhere in New Zealand there have been reported deaths of dogs that have eaten algae on shorelines.
For up-to-date information on health warnings for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts, visit: www.toiteora.govt.nz/public/recreational-water