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Algae bloom

This photo provided by the Cayuga County Health Department shows what a blue-green algae bloom may look like.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed blue-green algae was present on the shoreline of Lake Como on July 11, according to a release from the Cayuga County Health Department Wednesday.

The shoreline bloom was discovered on the west side of the lake, and a sample was collected and sent to the DEC. 

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria or harmful algal blooms, can produce toxins, which can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat, as well as inflammation of the respiratory tract. The Health Department recommends contacting a physician should someone experience these symptoms.

Pets can also be affected by the algae, which can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, irritation of the skin, eyes or respiratory system. 

Blue-green algae creates a paint-like or filmy appearance on surface water. It can also look like floating scum. Images of blue-green algae are available at dec.ny.gov/chemical/81962.html. The health department reminds the community to stay away from blooms, and they should report all suspected blooms. 

To report a potential bloom, contact HABsinfo@dec.ny.gov or harmfulalgae@health.ny.gov. If the bloom is present on Owasco Lake, report it to the Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection Program at (315) 427-5188 or (315) 237-2066. For more information contact the Environmental Health Division of the county Health Department at (315) 253-1405 or visit cayugacounty.us/environmental.

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