Blue-green algae advisories at Lacamas and Round lakes in Camas have been elevated from a warning to danger by Clark County Public Health.
Samples of water collected last week at both lakes showed continued elevated levels of cyanotoxins, stated a news release. The algae has accumulated in areas of both lakes, including at boat launches and other public access points.
The health department is advising against all recreating at the lakes, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, using motorized boats, water skiing and fishing. Pets also should not have any contact with the water, stated the release.
“Blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or contact skin,” stated the release. “Inhaled bacteria or toxins can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact can lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation.”
If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed symptoms can include vomiting, numbness of the lips, abdominal pain, diarrhea, tingling in the fingers and toes and dizziness. The toxins can also be fatal to pets who drink the water, stated the release.
Clark County Public Health will continue to monitor the blooms and will collect water samples to test toxin levels every two weeks.
Danger signs are being posted at the public access points at both lakes. The signs will be updated as conditions change.