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7.3.19: Press Release: Blue Green Algal Bloom in Stick Marsh in Fellsmere

July 03, 2019

7.3.19 Press Release: Blue Green Algal Bloom in Stick Marsh in Fellsmere 

Florida Department of Health in Indian River County is issuing Health Alert for the presence of Microcystin Toxin at 2.38 micrograms per liter. Blue green algae produce and release this toxin.

Blue green algae (also known as cyanobacteria) can grow in many of Florida’s waterbodies. Large concentration, called blooms can change the water color to blue, green, brown, orange or red. Blooms can appear year-round but are more frequent in summer and fall. Blue green algae can grow rapidly and sometimes form a foamy surface scum and an unpleasant odor. Because algae blooms can remove oxygen from the water, fish kills can occur.

Don’t swallow, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there are algae blooms. Algae blooms can cause ear, eye and skin reactions and hay fever and flu-like symptoms like diarrhea. Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have  contact with algae, discolored or smelly water.

Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water when algae blooms are present.

Don’t cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.

Fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms are safe to eat. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts, and cook fish well. Do not eat shellfish from this location. The Florida Department of health recommends that fish are not harvested from areas near or in the algae bloom.

Attached is a map showing the location of the blue green algae bloom. For more information on algae blooms visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection webpage
https://floridadep.gov/algalbloom .

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About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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