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Health warning for Waikato lakes

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/12/2016 Daniel Gilhooly

© Rex Images A health warning has been issued for lakes Whangape and Ngaroto in Waikato because of an algae bloom and a warning for Lake Waikare remains in place.

People should not let their skin come into contact with the water or swallow water, says the region's medical officer of health Dr Richard Hoskins.

"If people still choose to use the lakes when warnings are in place, or any other lake where there are visible changes to water colour, they should shower and change their clothing as soon as possible afterwards, even if no symptoms are noticeable," he says.

The warnings are based on cyanobacteria levels in regular water tests by Waikato Regional Council.

Cyanobacteria are a form of algae which can produce toxins harmful to health.

Symptoms to watch out for include a rash, skin and eye irritation, allergy symptoms and stomach upsets.

Levels in lakes Hakanoa and Waahi are below the warning level. The council no longer routinely tests Lake Kainui but caution is advised because of its history of cyanobacterial blooms.

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