Minnesota officials warn of toxic algae after child sickened – Kare 11

Officials with M-P-C-A say the child was swimming in Alexandria’s Lake Henry in late June.


©2015 by The Associated Press.

Always warn young children not to swallow any lake water, whether or not you see signs of algae.

Skin rashes and irritation of the nose, eyes, and/or throat are common side effects that result from skin contact with water containing algal toxins.

Potentially fatal to dogs, algal blooms can also affect people who come into contact with them or breathe in airborne droplets of water containing the toxins. Residents should avoid using or drinking water from areas where blooms are visible, the health unit said.

Dogs are at particular risk as they wade in shoreline areas where algae may accumulate.

If you or your pets experience any of the above symptoms after visiting a lake, seek medical or veterinary assistance immediately.

McFarlane Lake in the city’s south end, and Whitson Lake in Val Caron also tested positive for blue-green algae this week.

Blue-green algal blooms have an unsightly pea soup appearance and foul smell, and can produce toxins. The algae could even kill animals. “We usually tell people, if in doubt, stay out”, said Pam Anderson, MPCA water quality monitoring supervisor.

Fishing and boating are safe on lakes under warnings, but direct contact with the water should be avoided, the release said.

For the second summer in a row, Oakland’s Lake Temescal will be closed to swimmers indefinitely because of toxic green blue algae, likely exacerbated by California’s drought, though the rest of the park remains open.

There are now no short-term solutions to fix a blue-green algal bloom.


Officials say the high temperatures combined with recent rainfall can create conditions for the algae to grow. The algae is harmful to both humans and pets.

Lake Billy Chinook Richard Bozarth