Tuesday, September 18 2012, 01:59 PM CDT
Algae toxins found in Lost Creek Lake
MEDFORD, Ore. -- State health officials have issued a health advisory for Lost Creek Lake because blue-green algae has been found in the lake.
Water monitoring systems confirmed that blue-green algae can produce toxins is in the water.
Oregon state health officials say these algae levels are likely associated with dangerous cyanotoxin concentrations in the water which can be harmful to people and animals.
Contact with the water including swallowing, inhaling water droplets or skin contact should be avoided.
Health officials say drinking the water is especially dangerous and are advising campers and Lost Creek Lake visitors not to drink the water. Boiling, filtering or treating with camping-style filters will not remove the toxins.
Residents who draw water directly from the lake should use an alternative water source. Health officials say private treatment systems are not proven to be effective in removing algae toxins.
Those that use public drinking systems should be OK. Public water systems can reduce algae toxins through proper filtration and disinfection.
If you choose to eat fish from the lake, you should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking. Health officials say the toxins are more likely to collect in these tissue. You should not eat freshwater clams or mussels from Lost Creek Lake. Crayfish muscle can be consumed, but the internal organs and liquid fat should be discarded.
Health officials say symptoms of toxin exposure are numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems. These require immediate attention. Other symptoms include skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting.