Trinity River tests positive for blue-green algae toxins

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WILLOW CREEK- The Department of Health and Human Services confirms toxins associated with the algae are now in the Trinity River.

The low flows and high temperatures along local rivers are ideal conditions for blue-green algae growth, which can release powerful, and sometimes lethal, toxins. A low level of toxins was found in water tested at Kimtu beach near Willow Creek. Exposure to blue-green algae toxins can cause flu-like symptoms, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, mouth ulcers and convolutions in humans. Potential symptoms in dogs following exposure to blue-green algae toxins can include lethargy, difficulty breathing, salivation, vomiting, urination, diarrhea or convulsions.  Dogs and children are most likely to be affected because of their smaller body size and tendency to stay in the water for

Health officials ask that everyone avoid swimming or coming into contact with the water at Kimtu beach.

“It's a little unique in that it's not visible in the water. It doesn't come on scums or mats like our typical blue-green algae that we've been seeing on some of our other rivers so we're advising the public to avoid the water at Kimtu until further notice. And again, it's not always observable,” said Melissa Martel, Director of Environmental Health Division, Department of Health and Human Dervices.

Health officials say its still safe to swim in other parts of the trinity. However, if you see thick brown or blue-green scum, foam or mats floating in the water, do not get in. Report unusual blooms or conditions to environmental health by emailing envhealth@co.humboldt.ca.us.