The Community and Public Health division of Canterbury District Health Board has issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) was found in Lake Pegasus.
People and animals, particularly dogs, should avoid contact with Lake Pegasus until the health warning has been lifted.
Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says the algal bloom can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals.
"Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips," Dr Humphrey says.
"If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with the lake water."
He says boiling the water does not remove the toxin.
"No one should drink the water from the lake at any time."
Environment Canterbury will monitor this bloom on a weekly basis and the public will be advised of any changes that are of public health significance.
Facts about cyanobacteria:
For further information visit http://ecan.govt.nz/services/online-services/monitoring/swimming-water-quality/Pages/lake-warnings.aspx
Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777.
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