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Public recommended to stay away from part of South Watuppa Pond

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Photo courtesy of Tanja Ryden

A Public Health Advisory has been issued for Blue Green Algae Bloom present in South Watuppa Pond.

According to Board of Health member Tanja Ryden, the area causing a particular issue is the Tickle Road area in Westport.

Ryden stated on social media that you should not swim in the water or swallow the water. You should also keep animals away and rinse any area that has come in contact with the water.

“Cyanobacteria (sometimes called blue-green algae) occur naturally in fresh- water. Under certain conditions, they can multiply quickly, creating a highly concentrated area known as a cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom, or cyanoHAB. Some HABs produce toxins (known as cyanotoxins).”

According to Massachusetts officials, “algal blooms can be harmful to people and animals. Cyanobacteria (sometimes called blue-green algae) occur naturally in fresh-water. Under certain conditions, they can multiply quickly, creating a highly concentrated area known as a cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom, or cyanoHAB. Some HABs produce toxins (known as cyanotoxins). In the US, from 2007-2011, HABs were reported to have caused 183 cases of human illness and 38 dog fatalities. HABs in Massachusetts are most common in summer and early fall. They can last from several days to several months.”

Ingesting small amounts of cyanobacteria or toxin can cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Ingesting large amounts of toxins may cause liver or neurological damage. Contact with cyanobacteria can cause skin or eye irritation. Inhaling water spray containing cyanobacteria can cause asthma-like symptoms. Small children and pets are more susceptible to the effects of toxins than adults.

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