A recreational public health advisory has been issued for Harsha Lake at East Fork State Park due to a harmful algal bloom (HAB). The bloom is caused by a type of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria.
The blue-green algae are capable of producing toxins known as microcystin. A recreational advisory is issued if the toxins reach a level between above six parts per billion.
Under a recreational public health advisory, swimming and wading are not recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women and people with existing medical conditions.
People with pets are also advised to avoid pet contact with the water. If they get in the water during an algae bloom, they can ingest the toxins when they lick their fur.
HABs can produce toxic chemicals which may make people and pets sick depending upon the amount and type of exposure. This is especially true for the very young, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Types of exposure include swallowing HABs-contaminated water, skin contact, and inhaling aerosolized water droplets. HABs toxins can cause a rash, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and more severe symptoms at higher levels of exposure.
Avoid water that:
For the latest sampling results, visit the Ohio Beachguard website.
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