Blue Green Algae Blooms

Health Departments in Fond du Lac and Winnebago County are urging residents to be alert for Blue-green algae blooms on Lake Winnebago. They say hot weather and conditions are ideal for blue-green algae blooms. The blooms create thick green or bluish-green slimes and mats. The scum often smells like sewage or manure when it piles up along the shore and begins to decompose. The algae can produce toxins that can make people and animals sick.  Fond du Lac County Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says illness can occur after swimming, drinking lake water, or when water droplets containing toxins are inhaled. It can lead to eye, ear, or skin irritation, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. Exposure to large amounts of toxins can result in nerve and/or liver problems. Animals, especially dogs, are at greater risk of dying from exposure. If you come into contact with it wash thoroughly with clean water. Contact your health care provider or the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you begin to experience any physical symptoms that could suggest toxin exposure. Contact a veterinarian if your pet becomes ill.