A health warning has been issued for Lake Okaro, near Rotorua, as routine monitoring results provided by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council have confirmed a bloom of potentially toxic blue-green algae.
“The health warning means that people should avoid any activity which results in significant contact with the lake water,” says Dr Phil Shoemack, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service.
Contact with algal blooms can cause asthma and hayfever attacks in susceptible individuals, as well as skin rashes, stomach upsets, and in some cases neurological effects such as tingling around the mouth, headaches, breathing difficulties and visual problems.
Signage will be erected at Lake Okaro advising potential lake users about the algal bloom. Monitoring will continue and any changes in advice will be communicated accordingly. The public can obtain up-to-date information on this health warning and others for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts through these channels: