Toxic algal blooms have been detected at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With cooler temperatures in the valley and more people heading to Lake Mead, toxic algal blooms have been detected at Cottonwood Cove and Nelson Landing.

According to National Park Servicevisitors are advised to avoid swimming in these areas to avoid contact with potentially harmful cyanobacteria.

A person can be exposed to high levels of toxins if they swim, play, or otherwise entertain themselves on or in a body of water where cyanobacteria can reproduce rapidly. Toxins can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

Pets can also be exposed to cyanotoxins if they drink water from a lake contaminated with cyanobacteria, lick their fur after swimming in contaminated water, or consume scum or algal mats containing toxins. If pets happen to swim in algal bloom water, wash them thoroughly.

Toxic algal blooms occur when cyanobacteria multiply rapidly, creating blooms that spread across the surface of the water. Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are microscopic organisms naturally present in fresh and salt water. Algal blooms are more common in the summer.

Park biologists will continue to monitor affected sites to assess the potential impact on visitor health and safety. To learn more about harmful cyanobacterial algae blooms, visit The CDC website.

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