Toxic algae blooms in Lake Geode in southeast Iowa

DANVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A toxic algae bloom in Lake Geode has prompted a state environmental toxicologist to warn people to swim elsewhere.

Stuart Schmitz, with the Iowa Department of Public Health, tells the Burlington Hawk Eye (http://bit.ly/13vcWwa) that the cyanobacteria algae is in full bloom at the 187-acre lake near Danville.

While common in most lakes, it grows thick in warm, still water and feeds on phosphorus from manure, sewage and fertilizers in runoff.

The algae’s toxins can sicken people and animals. Those who accidentally ingest water or even breathe in tainted water droplets can develop gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Other symptoms can include cough, runny eyes and nose, sore throat and asthma-like symptoms. Skin rashes also are possible. In severe cases, liver failure can occur.

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Information from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com

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