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Warning to parents and pet owners after toxic algae found in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 15:40 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:00 18 October 2019

Blue Green algae now hits Whitlingham Broad on the southern edge of Norwich - Sept 2011

Blue Green algae now hits Whitlingham Broad on the southern edge of Norwich - Sept 2011

Mike Page

Parents and dog owners are being warned to stay away from open water after a dangerous poisonous algae has been found in various beauty spots in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Blue-green algae has been spotted across the county. Picture: ArchantBlue-green algae has been spotted across the county. Picture: Archant

Blue-green Algae is harmful to humans and animals producing toxins in the body if it is ingested.

The Environment Agency said its had serval reports of it in the region and has issued a warning.

A spokesman said: "In Norfolk we've several reports of Blue-Green Algae so far this summer, including Blickling Hall lake, Whitlingham Broad and Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft.

"Many of these sites around the Broads have had similar blooms in previous years so this is not unusual."

Blue-green algae has been spotted across the county. Picture: ArchantBlue-green algae has been spotted across the county. Picture: Archant

Dogs can swallow the algae by drinking water from affected areas or when licking their fur after swimming in it.

The symptoms of poisoning can appear within minutes or take a few hours depending on how much has been ingested.

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These include; vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, disorientation, trouble breathing, seizures and blood in faeces.

Public health advice says people who believe they have come into contact with the algae should shower with fresh water immediately and seek medical attention if they become ill.

The spokesman added: "You can't tell if an algal bloom in the sea, a lake or river is toxic just by looking at it, so it's safest to assume it is.

"Keep pets and children away from the water and avoid skin contact with the water or algae."

The algae with continue to bloom throughout the summer

"Once algal numbers are high, the bloom is likely to persist throughout the season, declining only at the onset of colder weather conditions," the spokesman added.

"If you suspect you've seen an algal bloom please report it to the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60."

The warning comes after a King Charles Cavalier died from swimming in a lake in Cheshire and a swan died after being recovered from a lake in Southampton.

For more information go to www.gov.uk and search Algal blooms.

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