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Health Department Warns About Toxic Blue-Green Algae

Blue-green algae bloom (file)
Lake Champlain Basin Program/Larry Dupont
Blue-green algae bloom (file)

The Vermont Department of Health is reminding residents to avoid contact with toxic blue-green algae in Vermont waters.
Health officials say warm weather creates ideal conditions for cyanobacteria to grow. Blooms can form on the surface and wash up on shorelines.

They've already been spotted in Mallets and Missisquoi bays in Lake Champlain.

Officials say swimming or wading in water with cyanobacteria may cause skin rashes, diarrhea, a sore throat, stomach problems, or more serious health concerns. It says dogs are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects.

To help residents identify the algae, the department has posted a video and photos on its website.

Blooms typically green or blue-green and can make the water look like pea soup or spilled paint but they can also be other colors and consistencies.

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