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Department of Health issues a health alert for harmful blue-green algae bloom in Clay County

Environmental Health Manager with FDOH says long term exposure to algae bloom could result in health issues.

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. — As the weather gets warmer you will see algae bloom overpopulating in the water creating mats that float on the waterways.

“That first came to my attention last year, hearing about toxic algae blooms. That’s something I never knew happened locally," said Kristy Sutton, Clay County resident. 

Sutton says she tends to stay away from lakes because of wildlife, but the toxic algae blooms just added another reason to her list.

“Definitely going to double down on staying away from the lake and water around here," said Environmental Health Manager with The Florida Department of Health in Clay County, Phyllis Barnett. 

RELATED: Riverkeeper: Toxin levels from algae on the St. Johns River are high

Barnett says not all algae blooms have toxins.

“But those that do can cause problems for humans, mostly through ingestion through doing water sports, so you should not boat through those mats," said Barnett. 

If you ingest toxic algae, some symptoms include nausea or vomiting.

If you have any concerns, call your doctor right away.

“Don’t let your children swim in blooms. Don’t let your pets swim in blooms because it is also toxic to pets," said Barnett.

If you believe you were exposed to algae blooms, Barnett says to clean your skin immediately and wash your clothes.

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