Cyanobacteria, better known as blue-green algae, is not something that should be taken lightly.
The algae has been found locally at Heritage Lake near Morinville, along with 23 other lakes in Alberta.
Blue-green algae is a bacteria that can cause skin irritation, sore throat, red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea, diarrhea and potentially more.
“Because of the cyanotoxin, it could cause serious harm,” said Shobhit Maruti, medical officer of health at Alberta Health Services (AHS). "You can get very acute symptoms like headache, vomiting and seizures. Those are very serious things if you ingest enough of the toxin from the area with the blue-green algae."
According to AHS, if you come in contact with the algae, you should wash with clean tap water immediately.
“The cyanobacteria can cause neurotoxicity which can affect the liver and skin,” added Maruti.
Blue-green algae is naturally occurring and often becomes visible when weather conditions are calm. The algae often looks like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of water and often smells musty or grassy.
A full list of affected lakes in Alberta can be found here.

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