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Saturday, 07 August 2010 09:35

A family enjoys some fishing during OK Kids Day in May at Meade Lake. The state has recently closed the lake because of toxic blue algae bloom. Park facilities and campsites are still open to the public, but officials warn not to get into the water or eat the fish until the advisory is lifted. Daily Leader file photo/Robert Pierce


Meade Lake under a public health advisory

• Special to the Daily Leader
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is continuing to advise the public to avoid contact with water in Meade Lake in Meade County.   
On July 30, KDHE issued a public health advisory after confirming a toxic blue-green algae bloom in the lake. Concentrations of algae in the lake exceed the World Health Organization  recommended level of 100,000 cells/milliliter for recreational water use. Elevated levels of toxins from the algae were also confirmed.
KDHE sampled the lake earlier this week. Sample results continue to exceed the recommended levels. Lake samples will be taken again next week and KDHE may revise or lift the public health advisory based on future test results. 
At the present time, the public health advisory does remain in effect. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has announced the lake will remain closed until further notice. However, the park area surrounding the lake is open.
KDHE continues to recommend the following precautions be taken at Meade Lake:
o Avoid ingesting lake water 
o Avoid swimming or wading in lake water
o Avoid consuming any fish or shellfish from the lake until further notice as fish and shellfish may absorb toxins from the bloom
o Keep pets from having contact with the water
Contact with the water, such as wading or swimming, can cause a skin rash, as well as eye, ear and throat irritation. Ingesting or inhaling aerosols (such as from personal watercraft or boating) of contaminated water can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, fatigue and flu-like symptoms.  
Those developing similar symptoms after contact with the lake water should seek medical care from a health care provider. 
Animals, especially dogs, can also become ill as a result of coming into contact with, or ingesting the water. If a pet becomes ill soon after contact with the water, contact a veterinarian right away.
KDHE and KDWP will continue to monitor the situation and rescind this advisory as soon as conditions warrant. If the public has any questions or concerns, KDHE can be contacted during normal business hours at (785) 296-6603.
Further information on algae and algae blooms can be found at: 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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