Blue-green algae (Anabaena) can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals. These algae levels are likely to be associated with dangerous toxin concentrations in the water. Swallowing or inhaling water droplets from lakes that are showing high levels of toxin should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans or animals. The toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water.

Algae Bloom Awareness: You and Your Pet

Since most water bodies in Oregon are not monitored, it is recommend you become familiar with your surroundings and know the signs of a bloom before you take the plunge.

Don't go into water that is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red. A good rule of thumb for you and your pet is; When in Doubt, Stay Out!

If you believe you or your pet have been exposed to a harmful algae bloom, Oregon Health Authority staff are available to answer health related questions and to receive and document illness reports.

If people choose to eat fish from lakes with dangerously high toxin concentration, they should remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues.

Symptoms of numbness, tingling, dizziness and paralysis can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems and require immediate medical attention. If symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting persist or worsen, people should seek medical attention. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.