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Toxic algae warning for Kitsap Lake
By Patrick McDonough
The Kitsap Public Health District has issued a toxic algae health advisory for residents and visitors of Kitsap Lake.
The warning is based upon ongoing testing of blue green algae in the lake, and officials said the water can cause illness in humans and kill pets, fish, waterfowl and livestock.
Water samples collected July 24 revealed levels of toxins to be at 6.7 per liter of water. Warnings are issued by the district when levels reach or exceed 6.0 per liter of water.
Jim Zimny, Senior Environmental Health Specialist for the Kitsap Public Health District, said the lake water is particularly dangerous to the young.
“We really need to emphasize that younger children are especially at risk,” Zimny said. “Because of their body size they are more susceptible to illness. “
Symptoms of illness from ingestion of the lake water can include skin rash, dizziness or weakness, respiratory allergy, abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting.
Zimny said anyone exhibiting these symptoms should seek immediate and proper medical attention.
During the advisory, residents and visitors are urged to avoid drinking water from the lake, avoid swimming and other water contact activities, limit access of pets and livestock to lake water, avoid consuming fish caught during the algae bloom and rinsing boats and trailers before traveling to another lake.
Lake-goers are also advised to contact the health district if they notice large numbers of dead fish in the lake, sudden or unexplained sickness or death of a pet cat or dog or the onset of skin rash, dizziness or weakness, respiratory allergy, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting in people after contact with lake water.