GENERIC: Algae

If you're out on the water this summer, careful where you swim.

Biology experts are warning beachgoers and swimmers of harmful algae blooms that have been springing up throughout the Great Lakes.

"These sorts of conditions can happen in a whole variety of lakes," Dr. Hunter Carrick is a biology professor specializing in aquatic ecology with Central Michigan University.

He says not all algae blooms are dangerous, but during this time of year, they start to notice a huge increase in blooms in area lakes.

They can look like foam, scum or even paint on the surface of the water.

"They might see anything from a slick on the top of the water that was aqua colored or green,” Carrick said. “They might look like cut grass in the water, small flecks of cut grass."

He says that type of algae can be toxic. He advises anyone who encounters it to wash quickly afterward.

"Wash after bathing. And if anybody's ingested any water and they're having symptoms of vomiting or something along those lines, they certainly can go see a doctor or contact a health professional."

The CDC says other symptoms may include nausea, headache, or irritation of the skin and that this type of algae bloom can be harmful to pets.

Which is why experts like Carrick simply want people to be extra careful around the water this summer.

"Be observant, and most people that recreate are. They're very observant, they're in the water usually or around it. And they'll notice things oftentimes before we will, and they'll report things and that can be a good thing."

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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