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Time Lapse: Utah Lake closed because of toxic algae bloom

Time Lapse: Utah Lake closed because of toxic algae bloom
Posted at 11:57 AM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 18:27:31-04
Time Lapse: Toxic algae takes over Utah Lake - Utah Water Ski Club/Scot Chipman

Time Lapse: Toxic algae takes over Utah Lake - Utah Water Ski Club/Scot Chipman

UTAH COUNTY - Health officials are closing Utah Lake after finding a large toxic algae bloom in the water.

The Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality said the closure is effective immediately because of the large, harmful algae bloom that may pose a serious health risk to the public and animals.

Authorities said they believe the algae covers about 90 percent of the lake.

Officials said lab results show the concentration of algal cells in the water are three times the threshold for closing a body of water.

According to Dr. Joseph Miner, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health, “These types of algae release neurotoxins and hepatotoxins, that can affect brain, nervous system, and liver function.”

Utah Lake algae - Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality

Utah Lake algae - Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality

These blooms can contain harmful cyanobacteria, a type of bacteria (often referred to as blue-green algae) that produces toxins that can pose risks to humans, wildlife, domestic animals and fish.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin poisoning include headache, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and sometimes allergic-like reactions from skin contact.

Advisories like this have been issued from UCHD in the past, bust this is the first time the entire lake has been closed, DEQ said.

If you have taken fish from the Lake since July 10, 2016, state officials are urging you not to eat the fish.

Fishing in river areas near Utah Lake is not recommended until further notice.

Utah Lake algae - Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality

Utah Lake algae - Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality

For concerns about possible human exposure, call Utah Poison Control at 800-222-1222, or your physician.

For concerns about possible animal exposure, contact a local veterinarian.

For concerns about possible livestock exposure, contact Utah Department of Agriculture and Food at 801-538-7100.

Contact the Utah Poison Control hotline if you or your pet are showing symptoms of health issues from the Utah Lake algal bloom.

Click here for the latest updates on the toxic algae bloom from the Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality.

Check back with Fox 13 for further updates.