LAKE OF BAYS, ON— Blue-green algae has been confirmed in the east end of Echo Lake.

According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of the bloom.

Wind and water currents can change the location of algae blooms in the lake. The blooms may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint. Swimming and other water sport activities should also be avoided in areas where a bloom is visible.

The health unit is advising residents around the east end of Echo Lake, Township of Lake of Bays, to avoid using the lake water for drinking or food preparation, including infant formula.

Boiling the water will not destroy the toxins, and home treatment systems should not be relied on.

Exposure to blue-green algae, whether for drinking, swimming, cooking or through eating fish caught from the south-end of Geri Bay, may result in illness. Adverse health effects are mainly caused by drinking water that is contaminated with blue-green algae toxins. Symptoms from consuming toxins can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities.

The lake will be monitored and updates will be posted on the health unit’s website at www.smdhu.org/algae.

To learn more about blue-green algae visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org, or call Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.