The Pierce County Health Department has just released an Advisory that toxic algae blooms are present at Bay Lake on the Key Peninsula.

The Advisory states that the toxic algae are easily identified by a green coloration to the water, where the water has the appearance of pea soup or green paint.  The algae are the small green dots in the water.  Wind and weather conditions can change the conditions and appearance frequently.

The Health Department recommends that children and pets be kept away from any noticeable concentrations of algae, that nobody swim, wade, or water ski in any such areas and that no one take fish from these areas either.

Ingesting the algae, or prolonged contact with it may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. If water containing large amounts of algae is ingested, it is extremely important to seek immediate medical attention.

The risk is much greater for pets and small children who have a much smaller body mass. If a pet shows signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation or seizures it should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

For more information on water surface advisories, call the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department at 253-798-6470.

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