ROME CITY — The Noble County Health Department is warning residents living at Sylvan Lake of a blue/green algae bloom that has formed on the lake.
The health department was made aware of the bloom from a concerned citizen living at the lake.
Dr. Terry Gaff, Noble County Health Officer said his department couldn’t exactly pinpoint the exact location of the bloom.
“We saw the pictures it basically looks like sludge,” he said. “It is your classic algae bloom.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website says algae blooms occur when algae multiply very quickly. Blooms can form in waters that are rich in the nutrients the algae need to grow, such as nitrogen, phosphorous and iron. Warmer waters may also help algae grow quickly to form blooms.
Although the exact cause of the bloom is unknown at this time, Dr. Gaff said it could potentially be from fertilizer runoff in the area of the bloom.
A news release from the health department says the blue/green algae blooms don’t cause infections in people. Instead, they can harm people and animals by creating toxic substances that people or animals might breathe in or swallow.
Residents living on the lake should avoid the area of the lake when they see it. This includes no swimming in or around the area of the bloom. Do not let pets drink, play or swim in the water. Also stay out of the water if it has dead fish or other dead animals in or near it.
CDC recommendations state that fish caught in or around the bloom should not be consumed as they could be contaminated.
Dr. Gaff said he currently does not know how extensive the outbreak is in the lake.
He warns residents to be careful no matter where they are at on the lake.
The CDC lists several symptoms people can experience if they come in contact with the algae. They include: skin, eye, nose and throat irritation along with respiratory irritation.
The algae is far more dangerous for pets and other animals they can be poisoned through direct contact by swimming in the waters or drinking it. Animal symptoms include: excessive salivation, vomiting, fatigue, staggered walking, difficulty breathing, convulsions, liver failure and even death.
The health department advises residents if they become ill or their pet becomes ill to seek evaluation by a healthcare provider.