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Home > Latest News > Media Releases > Media Releases 2013 > March 2013 > Health warning for Lake Okaro

Health warning for Lake Okaro

Wednesday, 13 March 2013 10:00 a.m.

A health warning has been issued for Lake Okaro near Rotorua as there are currently high levels of potentially toxic blue-green algae in the lake.

These algae are capable of producing harmful toxins at any time. Exposure to the toxins through skin contact or swallowing the affected water can result in significant symptoms including an acute asthma attack, skin rashes, vomiting and diarrhoea, tingling and numbness, or difficulty with breathing.

"People are advised to avoid recreational activities involving contact with the lake water," says Dr Neil de Wet, Medical Officer of Health.

Lake Okaro, near Rainbow Mountain, twenty-five kilometres to the south of Rotorua, has a significant recent history of algal blooms reflecting the high level of nutrients contained in the lake sediment.

For up to date information on health warnings in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes visit www.ttophs.govt.nz and click on health warnings or call 0800 221 555 and select option 7 to speak to the on call health protection officer.

Lake Okaro walkway lowres