Thursday 24 January 2019Media release2 minutes to read
Canterbury District Health Board’s Community and Public Health unit have issued a health warning for the Waipara River at Teviotdale.
The warning follows moderate cover of potentially toxic blue-green algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the Waipara River at Teviotdale.
There are also other access points along the Waipara River that may have cyanobacteria present and people are advised to check for the presence of cyanobacteria and avoid contact.
People and animals, particularly dogs, should avoid the area of the Waipara River until the health warning has been lifted.
Dr Alistair Humphrey Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.
“Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips,” Dr Humphrey says.
“If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately, also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area.”
No one should drink water from the river at any time.
Pets that show signs of illness after coming into contact with algal mats should be taken to a vet immediately.
Dr Humphrey says people and animals should remain out of the waterways until the warnings have been lifted.
Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.
Facts about cyanobacteria:
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Page last updated: 30 July 2020
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