Health officials warn people of high levels of blue-green algae in Lost Creek Lake.
A health advisory was issued today for the lake, located 30 miles northeast of Medford on the Rogue River in Jackson County.
Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae that can produce toxins. These algae levels are likely to be associated with dangerous cyanotoxin concentrations in the water that can be harmful to humans and animals. Swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water, officials said in a news release.
Exposure to toxins can produce symptoms of numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.
Oregon Public Health officials said drinking water directly from Lost Creek Lake is especially dangerous. They reminded campers and other recreational visitors that toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating the water with camping-style filters.
People who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, because toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues, public health officials said. They also advise that people not eat freshwater clams or mussels from Lost Creek Lake. Crayfish muscle can be eaten, but internal organs and liquid fat should be discarded.
The public will be notified when the toxic bloom fades, officials said.