MADISON (AP) — This week’s record high temperatures are causing toxic blue-green algae blooms in many Wisconsin lakes, streams and ponds.
The Department of Natural Resources says people should be on the lookout for water that looks like pea soup, or that contains green, blue, white, red or brown scum.
The DNR is advising people to stay out of water that looks suspicious and make sure children do not swim in or drink water that’s affected.
The most common symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning in humans are rashes, gastrointestinal pain and respiratory irritation. In severe cases, it can cause nerve and liver damage.
Pets are also at risk and have a higher risk of dying from exposure because they may ingest large amounts of toxins from drinking water or licking algae from their fur.
“I think people tend to forget, year-to-year, that there is a hazard associated with blue-green algae. It’s important, for every public health issue, to remind people that it’s here,” DNR Water Supervisor Rob McLennan said.