Windsor

Low-level toxin blue-green algae blooms found in Chatham-Kent, public health warns

Chatham-Kent Public Health is warning the public of a blue-green algae bloom that has been found in McGregor Creek and likely expanded to the Thames River.

Public asked to avoid waters with the blooms as toxins can lead to serious symptoms

The health unit says it's likely that the blue-green algae bloom has expanded into the Thames River. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

Chatham-Kent Public Health is warning the public of a blue-green algae bloom that has been found in McGregor Creek and likely expanded to the Thames River.

An analysis of water samples take from the McGregor Creek confirmed low levels of the toxic algae, public health stated in a news release Friday. 

The toxins in the algae can cause symptoms such as irritated eyes, itchy skin, headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. 

The health unit is warning locals to avoid contact with the algae bloom as toxin levels can change depending on the amount present and environmental conditions. 

To protect your changes of exposure, the health unit advises locals to: 

  • Not drink, bathe or shower in untreated surface water. 
  • Don't allow children, pets or livestock to drink or swim in the water. 
  • Don't cook with or boil the water. 
  • Be cautious eating fish caught where blue-green algae blooms occur. 
  • Don't treat the water with a disinfectant like chlorine (bleach).

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