Blue-Green Algae Spotted in Lake Memphremagog

Contact: Bill Bress
State Toxicologist
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7220

NEWPORT – The Vermont Department of Health is advising Newport residents to be aware of a thick blue-green algae bloom spotted in the south end of Lake Memphremagog that has dissipated, but remains a concern.

“The algae was thick around the waterfront walkway, city dock and boat access in Newport at the end of last week and the beginning of this week,” said Bill Bress, state toxicologist for the Vermont Department of Health. “As of last night, there was very little left, but it can come back. We want people to be careful and avoid the algae, particularly if you see it around a swimming area at Prouty Beach.”

Skin exposure to some kinds of toxic algae can result in irritation or allergic reactions, and drinking algae that is producing toxins can result in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

If animals ingest the toxin, they can be quickly paralyzed and die. While blue-green algae toxins have been detected at many locations in Lake Champlain, the highest concentrations of toxins are usually found in blooms and shoreline scum.

No human cases of illness related to blue-green algae have been documented.
To report a blue-green algae bloom call 1-800-439-8550.

For more information go to: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/bg_algae/bgalgae.aspx

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