VDH says keep staying away from Lake Anna waters due to algal blooms

Public is still advised to avoid any contact with lake water
Lake Anna algae bloom.
Lake Anna algae bloom.(VDH)
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 2:23 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is maintaining an advisory against public swimming in specific branches of Lake Anna due to harmful algae blooms.

The North Anna and Upper Pamunkey Branches, including Terry’s Run, of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are continuing to experience a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is strongly advised to avoid any contact with the water.

The results of an Oct. 12 sample of the algae revealed a potential toxin-producing cyanobacterium. Cyanobacteria can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The department says that children and pets especially should be kept from drinking the lake water. If they have come into contact quickly wash them off with plenty of clean water. Seek medical or veterinary attention if you or your animals experience symptoms after swimming in or near an algal bloom.

If fishing in these areas, VDH advises properly cleaning fish by removing skin and discarding all internal organs and cooking fish to the proper temperature to ensure fish fillets are safe to eat.

The blooms present as of now may persist into the fall and possibly winter months. While the current cyanobacteria bloom could reach safe levels at some point during the fall and winter months, resources are not available to continue the monitoring in off-season months in order to lift the advisories for the rest of the year.

VDH, Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Old Dominion University Phytoplankton Laboratory, will startup response monitoring efforts again in May 2022.

Contact the Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Hotline at 1-888-238-6154 if you suspect you experienced health-related effects following exposure to a bloom.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Send it to 12 here.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.