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The Symptoms of Toxic Algae Exposure

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The Symptoms of Toxic Algae Exposure

All states are affected by harmful toxic algae blooms. It is an environmental problem that can affect both people and animals. It can also impact the ecosystem and economy of the area.

These are simple organisms that live in the water. If the environment is conducive, they can bloom or expand rapidly. It can happen in both fresh and saltwater systems.

Most blooms look like scum or foam on the surface of the water. It can even turn into different colors like green, blue, red, and brown.

A bloom is likely to develop in warmer, slow-moving waters. They also require nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen. They can get that from fertilizer, sewage, and other things dumped into the water.

They can cause harm by releasing harmful gasses, depriving the ecosystem of oxygen, and producing toxins.

How Toxic Algae Bloom Affects People

The most significant effect of toxic algae blooms on people is that they can get sick with direct contact or exposure. Animals can die because of these. There have been cases where dead spots are formed due to the bloom.

You can get sick from toxic algae bloom if you swim or play in it. Ingesting the water can lead to even more severe illnesses.

Exposure and Toxic Algae Symptoms

The exact symptoms and sickness one can develop from exposure to toxic algae bloom depends on several factors:

  1. How they were exposed
  2. How long was the exposure
  3. What toxins present
  4. How much of that toxin is present

Common symptoms you can encounter with toxic algae include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritation of your skin, eyes, nose, and throat
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness

Exposure to specific types of toxins can also affect your kidneys and liver. If you think you have come into contact with dangerous algae, you should contact your doctor or poison control immediately.

Toxic Algae

The Effects of Toxic Algae Blooms

Aside from generating health risks, toxic algae bloom creates different problems. The economic costs can be enormous as it renders a body of water unusable. Animals can get sick, which means the loss of fish, a significant food source for many people. That leads to dead zones that affect the overall ecosystem of the area.

The Blue-Green Algae

There are several types of toxic algae. Blue-green algae or cyanobacteria are commonly found in ponds, lakes, and other freshwater sources. They can develop in salt and brackish water too. What makes them dangerous is their ability to produce cyanotoxins.

How to Prevent Toxic Algae Blooms

One of the best ways to prevent algae from blooming is to reduce the nutrients they receive. Proper maintenance of septic tanks and limiting the use of fertilizer in lawns can help with that.

Planting buffers like trees and shrubs by the shore can also help prevent the development of blooms.

If you notice an alga blooming, report it to your local authorities.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

Get Immediate Treatment at Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

Only 1% of algae blooms produce toxins that are dangerous to humans. However, it only takes one mistake to get exposed. If you have doubts about the water, it is best to stay safe. When in doubt, get out.

The symptoms can vary between people exposed to toxic algae blooms. They usually show up within one week. If you think you have ingested water with toxins, you need to get medical attention.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care's emergency room is open 24/7, and urgent care is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Appointments are unnecessary - walk in, and our healthcare professionals are ready to help at both of our locations.

Navarre - 8888 Navarre Pkwy., Navarre, FL 32566. Call the center at 850-750-5698.

Nine Mile - 9400 University Parkway Suite 101A Pensacola, FL 32514. Call the center at 448-227-4600.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care is comprised of board-certified ER-trained physicians and professionally trained ER nurses who deliver quality medical care. Our urgent care and emergency room can effectively treat various medical conditions. From fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions, we have you covered with on-site labs, CT, X-rays, and ultrasound.