ORLANDO, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County has issued one Health alert for the presence of harmful blue-green algae toxins in Ola Lake – NE Shore. This is in response to a water sample taken by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on 01/12/2023. The public should exercise caution in and around Ola Lake – NE Shore.
Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
- Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.
- Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you come into contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.
- Keep pets away from the area. Waters where algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock must have another source of water when algae blooms occur.
- Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling water will not eliminate toxins.
- Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse the fish fillets with tap or bottled water, remove the guts and cook the fish well.
- Do not eat shellfish in waters with algal blooms.
What is blue-green algae?
Blue-green algae is a type of bacteria that is common in Florida’s freshwater environments. A bloom occurs when rapid algal growth leads to an accumulation of individual cells that discolor the water and often produce floating mats that emit unpleasant odors. Some environmental factors that contribute to blue-green algae blooms are sunny days, warm water temperatures, still water conditions, and excess nutrients. Blooms can occur throughout the year, but are more frequent in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins.
Is it harmful?
Blue-green algal blooms can affect human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals. For additional information on the potential health effects of algal blooms, visit floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins.
Find current information regarding Florida’s water quality status and public health notices for harmful algal blooms and beach conditions by visiting ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov. Protecting Florida Together is the state’s collaborative effort to provide statewide water quality information to prioritize environmental transparency and commitment to action.
What should I do if I see an algal bloom?
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) collects and analyzes algal bloom samples. To report a bloom to FDEP, call the toll-free hotline at 855-305-3903 or report online.
to report fish kills, contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute at 1-800-636-0511.
Report symptoms from exposure to a harmful algal bloom or any aquatic toxins to the Florida Poison Information Center, call 1-800-222-1222 to speak with a poison specialist right away.
Contact your veterinarian if you believe your pet has become ill after consuming or coming into contact with water contaminated with blue-green algae.
If you have other health questions or concerns about blue-green algae blooms, please call the Florida Department of Health Orange County Call Center at 407-723-5004.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.