A health advisory prompted by high algae levels found in Diamond Lake was issued today by Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division and Douglas County Health Dept.
Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae that can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals. Swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans or animals.
Drinking from Diamond Lake is especially dangerous. Oregon Public Health officials advise campers and other visitors that toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating the water with camping-style filter.
People who draw in-home water directly from Diamond Lake are advised to use an alternative water source.
Health officials recommend that people who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues. Additionally, public health officials advise that people should net eat freshwater clams form Diamond Lake. Crayfish muscle can be eaten, but internal organs and liquid fat should be discarded.
Exposure to toxins can produce symptoms of numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.
The public will be advised when the concern no longer exists.
With proper precautions to avoid water contact people are encouraged to visit Diamond Lake and enjoy activities safely.