Poisonous algae outbreak prompts advisory at Salton Sea, canine dies swimming in water

Salton Sea

The California State Water Resources Control Board today urged people and their pets to avoid the water in the Salton Sea due to a toxic algae outbreak.

Officials said patches of toxic cyanobacteria were discovered in numerous spots in the ocean and a dog recently died after swimming in the water.

“Algal blooms, which are harmful to cyanobacteria, can affect the skin, liver and nervous system of humans as well as dogs and farm animals,” said the state water authority.

As a precautionary measure, visitors were told not to swim in the water, not to let their pets in the water, or to eat mats of seaweed scattered across the coast.

Visitors were also advised not to use salton sea water for drinking or cooking. Boiling and filtering doesn’t make the water safe, officials said.

Anglers who catch fish in the water were asked to discard the entrails and thoroughly clean all fillets of fish with tap or bottled water before consumption.

Any illnesses related to the harmful algal blooms should be reported to the health departments in Riverside or Imperial Counties.

Illnesses should also be reported by email to the state water board at cyanoHAB.reports@waterboards.ca.gov.

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