WAKEFIELD, Mich. (WJMN) – A harmful algal bloom has been detected on Sunday Lake in Gogebic County, according to the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD).
The algal bloom was observed during weekly beach monitoring for E. Coli by the health department. Samples taken on Monday tested positive for microcystin, a toxin produced by certain types of algae in lakes and rivers. The test result was over the EPA recreational limit.
Additional testing will take place this week to ensure the bloom is going away.
“Algae blooms look like a green mat right on top of the water or spilled green paint”, stated Tanya Rule,
Environmental Health Director for WUPHD. “The algal toxins that are released can be harmful to
aquatic life, pets, and humans so it is very important to avoid these areas.”
Below are some steps to take when near waterways:
• Avoid direct contact with waterways that appear to be scummy or have a green shade to them
• Do not drink untreated surface water
• Obey posted signs for public health advisories and/or beach closings
• Limit or avoid eating fish from algal bloom impacted areas
Contact with algae blooms can cause minor illness in humans. People can experience the following
symptoms after exposure to algae blooms:
• Rash, hives, or skin blisters at skin contact site
• Runny eyes and/or nose, sore throat, asthma-like symptoms, or allergic reactions
• Diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness, tingly fingers, numbness, dizziness, difficulty
breathing, or even death resulting from ingesting contaminated water.
If you think you have been exposed to algae blooms, take the following precautions:
• Immediately remove yourself from the area
• Take a shower and thoroughly rinse off with clean, fresh water if they swam in an area with
• Seek medical treatment if you have ingested contaminated water.
Keep pets away from algae bloom as they can be deadly to pets. Don’t let pets play in or drink lake water. Symptoms tend to appear faster in animals than they do in humans.
Symptoms in animals can include vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, staggered walking, excessive salivation, convulsions, erratic behavior, or physical distress.