MOAB, Utah (ABC4) — Moab recreators are advised to take caution with them if visiting Ken’s Lake after a suspected algal bloom appears on the lake.
Health officials with the San Juan Public Health suspect a cyanobacteria bloom, which is a harmful algal bloom, has appeared. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the bloom can appear as blue-green in color, though could also appear as red or brown. Scum might float on the surface and can provide a smell of “rotting plants,” if there is a bloom.
The harmful algal bloom can cause a variety of symptoms in both animals and humans, depending on how much is ingested and the toxin type. The CDC said symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, headaches and diarrhea. In more severe cases, there may be speech disturbances or neurological symptoms.
In dogs, symptoms commonly include vomiting and foaming at the mouth. CDC also said to look for lethargy and neurological symptoms such as stumbling, twitching and paralysis or violent tremors.
San Juan Public Health said those going to Ken’s Lake should not ingest water, use caution when swimming, wading and paddleboarding, and wash hands with clean water before making or eating food. Visitors with pets at the lake should keep their animals a safe distance away from the water.
If ingested, CDC said people can self-treat by replenishing fluids and electrolytes, removing contaminated clothing and washing with soap and water for 10-15 minutes. If wearing contacts, those should be removed and use saline solution for at least 15 minutes on your eyes. For dogs, CDC said activated charcoal may be useful within the first hour of exposure.