Health Unit warns about algae bloom on Three Mile Lake

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is reminding people to avoid activities involving the use of water at Three Mile Lake, Township of Muskoka Lakes, due to a potential blue-green algae bloom.

While many forms of blue-green algae are harmless, some forms can produce toxins that can be harmful to the health of people and their pets. This means that exposure to the water, whether for drinking, swimming, bathing, cooking, washing or eating fish caught from the lake, can result in illness. Do not use the water for drinking or for food preparation including breastmilk substitute (infant formula).

Symptoms can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The effects can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities. Swimming in the water can cause itchy and irritated eyes. Blue-green algae blooms naturally occur in fresh water lakes, bays and inlets, usually during warmer weather in late summer and early fall.

They thrive where water is shallow, slow moving and warm, but may also be present below the surface in deeper cooler water. To learn more about blue-green algae check the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org, or call Health Connection Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.