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Public Health identifies potentially harmful algal blooms in Lake Isabella

Kern County Public Health is urging boaters, dog owners and other recreational lake users to exercise caution and observe signage related to active algal blooms when visiting certain areas within Lake Isabella.

Public Health recently obtained water samples from 16 locations in Lake Isabella as part of our monitoring program. The Hanning Flat and Tillie Creek boat launch areas' test results indicated the presence of potentially harmful blue-green algae (cyanotoxin) at the cautionary level, which is the lowest of the three advisory levels. Health advisory signs have been posted that advise people to use caution when using the lake and stay away from algae and scum in these areas.

Cyanobacteria are capable of producing toxins, which have the potential to harm people, pets, wildlife, or livestock. Dogs and children are most likely to be affected because of their smaller body size, increased potential to ingest water, and tendency to stay in the water for longer periods. Exposure to cyanobacteria and associated toxins can cause eye irritation, skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea and cold or flu-like symptoms. If you or your pet come into contact with algae and are experiencing symptoms, please seek medical treatment immediately.

Protect yourself from harmful algal blooms by following these guidelines:

• Follow posted advisories.

• Stay away from algae and scum in the water and on shore.

• Watch children and pets closely.

• Do not let pets and other animals go into the water, drink the water, or eat scum and algal accumulations on the shore.

• Wash yourself, your family, and your pets with clean water after water play.

• If you catch fish, throw away guts and clean fillets with tap water or bottles water before cooking.

For more information visit our interactive website: http://www.kernpublichealth.com/cyanobacteria-blooms-blue-green-algae/. As Public Health continues to monitor and test Lake Isabella, this website is updated regularly with test results and notification of any presence of potentially harmful blue-green algae in Lake Isabella.