Howard’s Bay was added Tuesday to a recreational use health advisory issued in July for a portion of Upper Klamath Lake by the Oregon Health Authority, according to a news release. The advisory, originally issued July 19, applied to the Eagle Ridge County Park area.
The advisory was issued due to the presence of a cyanobacterial (harmful algae) bloom and cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) above recreational guideline values for human exposure.
OHA updates an advisory when new sampling data is received. Sampling data received Aug. 8 showed toxin levels above recreational guideline values in the Howard’s Bay area. Satellite imagery shows the entire lake affected by a cyanobacterial bloom. Out of caution, OHA is updating the advisory to apply to the entire lake and will continue to evaluate new information as it becomes available.
People should avoid swimming and high-speed water activities, such as water skiing or power boating, in areas of the lake where blooms are identified. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy red rash.
Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity. People who bring their pets to a lake with areas affected by a bloom for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in these areas.
Drinking water directly from areas of the lake affected by a bloom is especially dangerous. Toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters.
Exposure to cyanotoxins can be serious and result in a range of symptoms, from those similar to food poisoning such as stomach cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, to more serious symptoms like numbness, tingling, dizziness and shortness of breath that may require medical attention.
For health information or to report an illness, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0482.