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Health advisory issued for Rotorua lakes

People are advised stay out of the water if it looks like this says the local Medical Officer of Health. Supplied image.

Low levels of an algal bloom have been detected in some Rotorua district lakes.

The local medical officer of health has issued a health advisory for Lakes Rotoehu, Rotoiti and Rotorua. 

Recent sampling results confirm that there is a level of algal bloom activity in each of these lakes.

The laboratory results show that the cyanobacteria present in these lakes are below health warning levels, says Dr Phil Shoemack, medical officer of health for Toi Te Ora Public Health.

However, some of the species of algae which have been found in the lakes do produce toxins which can be harmful to people and animals, especially dogs, he says. 

“Therefore lake users should do their own assessment of risk based on the colour of the water, whether there’s suspended material in it, any scum on the surface, and any associated odour. 

“If any of these is present people should stay out of the water.”

Most of the Rotorua lakes have some history of algal blooms. 

“There are no recent reports of people becoming ill from contact with algae, or their toxins, but the health effects can be significant, especially for children and anyone with a predisposition to skin problems, asthma and general respiratory conditions,” says Phil.

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.toiteora.govt.nz/health_warnings

More information: www.toiteora.govt.nz/recreational_water

Facebook: www.facebook.com/toiteora

Twitter: www.twitter.com/toiteora

Email alerts for subscribers: www.toiteora.govt.nz/alert

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