Orlando, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County issued a health alert Harmful cyanotoxins present in Lake Aura – NE Shore. This is in response to a water sample taken by the Florida Department of Environmental Conservation on 01/12/2023. The public should exercise caution in and around Lake Ola – NE Shore.
Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
- Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, wakeboard or boat in waters where splash is visible.
- If you have been in contact with algae or discolored or smelly water, wash your skin and clothing with soap and water.
- Keep pets away from the area. Waters with algal blooms are not safe for animals. When algal blooms occur, pets and livestock should have different water sources.
- Do not cook or wash dishes in water contaminated by algal blooms. Boiling water does not eliminate toxins.
- It is safe to eat fillets of healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes where blooms occur. Rinse the fillets in tap or bottled water, remove the guts, and cook the fish.
- Do not eat shellfish in waters with algal blooms.
What is blue-green algae?
Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria commonly found in freshwater environments in Florida. A bloom occurs when rapid growth of algae leads to the accumulation of individual cells that discolor the water and often create a floating mat that emits an unpleasant smell. Some environmental factors that contribute to blue-green algae blooms include sunny weather, warm water temperatures, still water conditions, and excess nutrients. Blooms can appear year-round, but are more frequent in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae produce toxins.
Blue-green algae blooms can affect human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals. For more information on the potential health effects of algal blooms, visit floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins.
find current information For public health notices regarding water quality status and harmful algal blooms and beach conditions in Florida, visit ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov website. Protecting Florida Together is the state’s collaborative effort to provide statewide water quality information to prioritize environmental transparency and commitment to action.
What should I do if I see an algal bloom?
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) collects and analyzes bloom samples.To report algal blooms to FDEP, call toll-free 855-305-3903 or report online.
arrive To report fish deaths, contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Institute, 1-800-636-0511.
report symptoms From exposure to harmful algal blooms or any aquatic toxins to the Florida Poison Information Center, call 1-800-222-1222 today to speak with a poison expert.
contact your veterinarian If you think your pet has become ill after eating or coming into contact with water contaminated with cyanobacteria.
If you have other health questions or concerns about blue-green algae blooms, please contact the Florida Department of Health at the Orange County Call Center at 407-723-5004.
About the Florida Department of Health
Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Commission, the department is dedicated to protecting, promoting and improving the health of all Florida people through an integrated state, county and community effort. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.