WABASH VALLEY (WTHI) - Blue-Green Algae concerns are on the rise across the Wabash Valley and health officials are urging those who swim in area lakes and rivers to stay cautious.
Blue-Green Algae or Cyanobacteria are microscopic bacteria that grow in warm water. These bacteria “blooms” usually occur during the hot summer and fall months. They tend to grow during hot weather and form quickly after heavy rain. This is because run-off from rainwater can supply more nutrients to the bacteria.
Direct skin contact and accidental inhalation of water droplets are the most common ways humans come in contact with the bacteria. Symptoms can range from a rash on the skin to vomiting and coughing.
News 10 reached out to Peter Coppinger, a Biologist at Rose-Hulman to find out how to spot these blue-green algae blooms in the water.
“Often it almost looks like an oil slick. It looks like someone poured oil or sometimes paint, green or blueish paint, on the surface of the water. And you can see streaking it almost looks like something is kind of flowing on the surface.”
Pets can also become very sick if they ingest the algae. Officials say you should call your doctor if you think you become sick.