Saturday, December 3, 2022

AHS advises of blue-green algae in Keho Lake

People living near or visiting Keho Lake are being advised of a blue-green algae bloom, which can be harmful to people and pets. Alberta Health Services (AHS) says people should avoid contact with the water, avoid avoid letting pets drink or swim in it and limit whole fish and fish trimming consumption. It notes it is still safe to eat fish fillets from the lake.

Blue-green algae is naturally occurring and often becomes visible when weather conditions are calm. It looks like scum, fuzz or globs on the surface and often smells musty or grassy.

People who come in contact with it or who ingest it can experience skin irritation, rashes, sore throats, red eyes, swollen lips, fever and nausea. Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days, according to AHS. Symptoms in children are often more pronounced, but can happen to anyone. 

“As always, visitors and residents are reminded to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any recreational body of water, including Keho Lake, at any time,” reads a news release from AHS. “Boiling of this water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae. An alternate source of drinking water should also be provided for pets and livestock while this advisory is active.”

It notes areas of the lake where the algae is not visible can still be used for recreation when the advisory is in place.

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