Summer algae causes skin irritation

KIMT News 3 – An algae found in more than one popular summertime destination, is said to be the cause for some recent cases of skin rash.

Although no official issues have been reported to hospitals in our area, medical professionals say, it’s something they’re well aware of.

The algae can cause mild to severe skin irritation, although nothing they consider especially harmful.

Katie Prochaska is visiting Clear Lake for the first time this summer. It’s a trip she said, her kids look forward to each year.

A chance to be near the water and on the beach, but there are some rules they always follow.

“We tell them not to drink the water, and as soon as we’re done swimming, they try to rinse off right away, just to get that water off,” said Prochaska.

Simple, yet effective, these rules can keep all swimmers from the tiny micro-organisms living beneath the surface.

Infections can be caused by the very common algae, Cyanobacteria or better known as Blue Green algae.

Infection Prevention Nurse, Jennie Love says we should be vigilant in protecting ourselves against it.

“More of the problems that are reported deal with wearing a wet swimming suit for too long. As soon as you can, it’s a good idea to get that lake water washed off of you,” said Love.

No serious cases have been reported in our area by medical professionals, and according to Love, the algae should not be a concern if properly addressed.

“I would not hesitate to swim in Clear Lake myself. I think that water sports are great activities for the entire family. Some things that you need to be mindful of if your swimming. Keep your mouth closed, and that’s not just now, but any time of the year you swim in a lake. It’s a good idea,” said Love.

Although there is no special cure for the condition, most rashes or skin issues caused by the algae usually last only 24 hours.

If your rash lasts longer than that, you should seek medical attention.

No warnings have been issued for Clear Lake or any other lakes in our immediate area.

For a more comprehensive look at swimming advisories in your area, click on the link below.

http://www.iowadnr.gov/Recreation/BeachMonitoring.aspx

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