Ohio August 21, 2019
The Toxic Blue-Green Algae Responsible For Killing Dogs Around The U.S. Has Been Found In Ohio
By now, you’ve likely heard about the “kissing bug” and all the precautions you need to take as the last month of summer lingers. (Be sure to check out our previous article about this unique bug
Ohioans also need to be on the lookout for toxic blue-green algae blooms. While high temperatures continue to linger and you’re enjoying your final beach day before the leaves begin to fall, use caution when visiting your local lake and/or swimming beach. Here’s what you need to know about this dangerous natural phenomenon, including where exactly it’s been spotted in the Buckeye State:
Toxic blue-green algae is steadily making its way across the United States this summer, contaminating several lakes and swimming beaches. Beginning in late July, it found its way to Ohio.
While algae is a natural occurrence and not all blue-green algae produces toxins, the Ohio Department of Health advises you to check with local parks and reports frequently so you can "know before you go".
This type of algae is particularly dangerous for pets and children. This year, dogs have reportedly died in Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas after exposure to the toxic algae.
When the blue-green algae is toxic, it usually emits an odor, which can attract animals.
Currently, there are 23 active beach advisory alerts in Ohio. Three of these advisories are due to toxic blue-green algae: Lake Erie at Maumee Bay State Park, Buckeye Lake in Fairfield County and Grand Lake St. Marys in Auglaize County.
As of August 21, those three beaches are categorized as an Elevated Recreational Public Health Advisory, which means algae toxins have been detected at unsafe levels and all contact with water is to be avoided. Other active beach advisories indicate high unknown bacteria levels.
Pay attention to the signs at all Ohio parks and beaches. Red signs indicate all contact with water should be avoided.
Orange indicates a bloom is "present and/or algal toxins have been detected" and wading is not recommended for "children, pregnant or nursing women, those with certain medical conditions and pets", according to the Ohio Department of Health's
Up close, toxic algae can look like foam or a film of scum. It's usually blue-green in color, but can sometimes be brown or even red.
Yellow signs indicate a Bacteria Contamination Alert, which means the water could cause sickness and swimming is not recommended for "children, the elderly and those in ill health or weakened immune systems." To stay up to date on the status of Ohio beaches and lakes, check the Ohio Department of Health's BeachGuard interactive map,
Human contact with the toxic algae can result in rashes, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Pets may also experience diarrhea, vomiting and seizures. If you suspect contact or ingestion, seek medical attention immediately.
Remember; always "know before you go." Stay safe, Ohio!
What do you think? Have you ever spotted any toxic blue-green algae before at any of Ohio’s beaches? Share your thoughts with us!
For more important things to be on the lookout for in Ohio as summer winds down, check out our previous article:
A Parasitic Bug Has Made Its Way Through Ohio And Its Bite Can Be Deadly.