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Health Department issues warning about algal bloom on Santa Fe River

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The Alachua County Health Department is asking the public to watch out for an algal bloom that has been identified in the Santa Fe River near High Springs between the Highway 27 bridge and upstream of Poe Springs in Alachua County.

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department, Florida Department of Health and Florida Department of Environmental Protection will continue to coordinate monitoring activities for this algal bloom which so far has not been confirmed to produce toxins or health effects.  Nevertheless, the Alachua County Health Department recommends people avoid contact with any visible algal blooms when participating in recreational activities such as fishing or swimming.  Potential signs of an algal bloom include water that appears greenish or off color, water with a foul odor or dead or distressed animals are spotted.

If someone comes in contact with an algal bloom, wash with fresh water and soap, and avoid swallowing or inhaling water. People are encouraged to keep pets out of the water, but if they do go near the algal blooms don’t let them drink the water, eat pond scum, or lick their fur.

For additional health information on harmful algal blooms, visit the Florida Department of Health’s website.  If people experiencing health effects, they should contact their doctor or the Alachua County Health Department at 352-334-7930.

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