New Mexico State Parks encourages visitors to be cautious around shorelines and coves as blue-green algae may be present in the water. State Parks is advising visitors who recreate along the beach of possible health risks associated with exposure to blue-green algae, which is a naturally occurring organism in lakes that can produce toxins but is short-lived. As a precaution, State Parks is posting notices throughout lake parks and distributing flyers to visitors.
Blue-green algae can form anytime, particularly in the summer or early fall when conditions include the presence of warm, shallow, nutrient rich water that receives a lot of sunlight. Most blue-green algae are safe; however, people should be aware that toxic conditions can exist and should limit their contact with blue-green algae as much as possible. Seek medical attention immediately if you think you, your child, or your pet might have been exposed and are showing symptoms.
To guard against exposure, consider the following precautions:
· When boating, water skiing or swimming, don’t come in contact with water that is discolored or where excessive foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water are visible
· Avoid swimming in areas with large quantities ofalgae
· Shower or rinse off with clean water after swimming and prior to food preparation and eating
· Rinse pets off with clean water instead of allowing pets to groom themselves
· Bring clean water for pets and keep them away from the lake
· Never drink untreated surface water, whether or not algae blooms are present
· Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms occur after possible exposure
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