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Algal bloom prompts officials to issue health warning

The Vaquero Day Use Area's swim beach will be closed due to an algae bloom at Pyramid Lake. Press Release

The Department of Water Resources is urging the public to to avoid contact with waters containing algae in Pyramid Lake.

Officials released a warning after conducting a test on Thursday. Results prompted a “warning” health advisory.

“Vaquero Day Use Area remains open for picnicking and other shoreline activities, but the swim beach is closed,” read a press release.

Other caution signs are posted around the lake to warn residents of the blue-green algae.

“Blue-green algae can pose health risks, particularly to children and pets,” according to the press release.

Exposure to the algae can cause allergic skin rash, eye irritation, mouth ulcers, diarrhea, vomiting and cold symptoms.

The Statewide Guidance on Cyanobacteria and Harmful Algal Blooms recommends the following precautions:

  • Take care that pets and livestock do not drink the water, swim through algae, scums or mats or lick their fur after going in the water. Rinse pets in clean water to remove algae from fur.
  • Avoid wading, swimming or jet or water skiing in water containing algae blooms or scums or mats.
  • Do not drink, cook or wash dishes with untreated surface water from these areas under any circumstances; common water purification techniques such as camping filters, tablets and boiling do not remove toxins.
  • People should not eat mussels or other bivalves collected from these areas. Limit or avoid eating fish from these areas; if fish are consumed, remove the guts and liver, and rinse filets in clean drinking water.
  • Get medical treatment immediately if you think that you, your pet or livestock might have been poisoned by blue-green algae toxins. Be sure to alert the medical professional to the possible contact with blue-green algae. Also, make sure to contact the local county public health department.

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