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Department of Health in Martin County Reminds Residents and Visitors to Avoid Contact with Algae

By Renay Rouse

August 08, 2018

Martin County, FL —  Based on recent test results from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Florida Department of Health in Martin County (DOH) is updating a health advisory to include the waters along the St. Lucie Canal near Martin Highway and the waters south of Northwest Alice Street, East of Dixie Highway in Stuart. Test results found the presence of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, with an elevated microcystin toxin level. 

Waters in the vicinity of the St. Lucie Lock and Phipps Park have been under advisory since July 11.

The Florida Department of Health urges residents and visitor to avoid or minimize contact with algae. Swimming in water with blue-green algae blooms may cause ear, eye and skin reactions, and hay fever and flu-like symptoms. Children and pets are particularly vulnerable, so keeping them away from the water during a bloom is especially important.   

If you experience acute illness related to an algal bloom, please call the Florida Poison Control Center at 1- 800-222-1222.

For health-related questions, contact the Florida Department of Health in Martin County at 772-221-4090.

To report algae blooms, contact the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at 855-305-3903.

To report fish kills, call the Fish Kill Hotline (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) at 800-636-0511.

For more information about blue-green algae and public health, visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins/cyanobacteria.html and www.MartinCountyHealth.com

For general information about algal blooms: https://www.cdc.gov/habs/general.html