Health warnings issued for Lake Ohakuri and Lake Maraetai

A health warning has been issued for Lake Ohakuri and Lake Maraetai as routine monitoring results provided by Waikato Regional Council have confirmed a bloom of potentially toxic blue-green algae.

 “The health warning means that people should avoid any activity which results in significant contact with the lake water in Lake Ohakuri and Lake Maraetai,” says Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health.

Contact with water affected by blooms of blue-green algae can cause asthma and hayfever attacks in some individuals.  Contact with the blue-green algae can also cause skin rashes, stomach upsets, and in some cases neurological effects such as tingling around the mouth, headaches, breathing difficulties and visual problems.

Signage will be erected at both lakes advising potential lake users about the algal bloom. 

Dr Miller advises the public to always be cautious for signs of algal blooms if using lakes.  “Algal blooms can develop rapidly and unpredictably and can sometimes produce toxins that are harmful for people as well as animals.  If the water looks discoloured, has an unusual smell, or has green or brown particles suspended in it then it is best to avoid contact with it.” 

Up-to-date information on health warnings for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts is available through these channels:

•             Phone: 0800 221 555

•             Website: www.ttophs.govt.nz/health_warnings

•             Fact Sheet: www.ttophs.govt.nz/vdb/document/43

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