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What are the symptoms of toxic effects of blue-green algae?

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Symptoms of swallowing water with toxic amounts of substances produced by blue-green algae can include stomach or head aches, diarrhea, cough, respiratory distress, and eye or ear irritations. Similar symptoms can also be caused by swimming in and swallowing water that contains E. coli or other bacteria, viruses, and disease-causing microbes. Some other blue-green algae and tiny parasites that cause swimmerís itch can also produce a rash after contact with the water. Humans, pets or livestock could be similarly affected by toxins from blue-green algae. In rare cases, animals have been known to die from drinking water contaminated with toxins produced by blue-green algae. Are fish caught from these waters safe to eat? The toxins produced by freshwater blue-green algae do not appear to bioaccumulate in fish and other edible aquatic life in lakes and rivers to the degree that they can in some seafood. Toxic results from consumption of freshwater animals have not been documented. Anglers ... more
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