KHQ MD ALERT: Health Advisory Issued For Fernan Lake; What You N - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ MD ALERT: Health Advisory Issued For Fernan Lake; What You Need To Know

Posted: Updated:

HAYDEN, Idaho - A health advisory was issued today for Fernan Lake by the Panhandle Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Water samples confirmed the presence of blue-green algae that can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals.

The density of blue-green algae in Fernan Lake is likely to be associated with potentially harmful toxin concentrations in water according to World Health Organization guidelines. Therefore, the public is advised to avoid swallowing or inhaling water and to avoid direct contact with water containing visible algae. Drinking water from the lake is especially dangerous and the toxins can't be removed by boiling or filtering the water. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, humans who drink or swim in water that contains high concentrations of cyanobacteria or cyanobacterial toxins may experience gastroenteritis, skin irritation, allergic responses or liver damage. Symptoms of exposure in humans are rare and include numbness, tingling, skin irritation and nausea. If symptoms persist or worsen people should seek medical attention. Pets and livestock should also avoid the area.
 
With proper precautions to avoid water contact, people are encouraged to enjoy other activities near the lake including camping, hiking, biking, catch and release fishing and bird watching. If people choose to eat fish from this area, it is recommended that they remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are most likely to collect in those tissues.
 
Blue-green algae are naturally occurring microscopic bacteria. There are many species that occur in Idaho surface waters and only some species release toxins under certain conditions. Blooms can occur in waters with high levels of nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen under certain conditions. Above average rain in June combined with rapid recent warming of water created favorable bloom conditions.
 
The physical appearance of blue-green algae blooms can be unsightly, often causing thick green mats along shorelines. Often excess nutrients associated with algae blooms are caused by pollution from human activities. Water quality improvements can be expected to reduce future algae blooms so the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is working with residents and landowners to implement nutrient reduction projects.  
 
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
  • 10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    Wednesday, November 27 2013 2:35 AM EST2013-11-27 07:35:08 GMT
    Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com. Yes, they all need some work and some need a lot more than others, but when your mortgage payment is around the $200/month range there's at least something to stay positive about.>>
  • Dozens of buildings burned in Washington wildfire

    Dozens of buildings burned in Washington wildfire

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:08:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The wind-driven fire in north central Washington destroyed as many as 100 buildings - most of them homes - according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. Rogers gave that update Friday morning in his update on the status of the Carlton Complex Fire burning around the communities of Pateros, Twisp and Brewster.>>
    KHQ.COM - The wind-driven fire in north central Washington destroyed as many as 100 buildings - most of them homes - according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. Rogers gave that update Friday morning in his update on the status of the Carlton Complex Fire burning around the communities of Pateros, Twisp and Brewster.>>