(7-23-19) A posting today on Facebook has gone viral and causing some concern for local residents. According to the posting several people have become seriously ill from blue green algae ‘toxicity’ after swimming in the pond referred to by many as the Huffy’s pond. The posting also indicated that several animals may have passed away after contact with the pond.
NOTE: The original posting has been removed after it had been shared over 850 times
The post indicated that a local pharmacist asked someone who was picking up a prescription ‘if they had been swimming in the Huffy’s pond‘ and about the suspicion of the pond’s condition.
Responding to the posting one person who swam in the pond said –
The weird part is me n both my kids are sick past 3 days. My throat and neck hurts so bad bad migraine
Another person stated –
We was just there on Saturday because the pool was closed and my kids are running fevers!
Another response –
FYI this is being investigated not a proven fact. Per health department it’s been two years since a confirmed case there.
It is important to remember that no formal statement has been issued by local health officials concerning the situation, but according to the Facebook posting ‘medical staff’ in Columbus have been notified.
What you need to know—
If you think you are experiencing symptoms related to exposure to blue-green algae (e.g., stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing), contact your doctor or the Poison Information Hotline (800-222-1222) right away.
If your pet displays symptoms such as seizures, vomiting, or diarrhea after contact with surface water, contact your veterinarian right away.
What is blue-green algae?
Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, are a group of photosynthetic bacteria that many people refer to as “pond scum.” Blue-green algae are most often blue-green in color, but can also be blue, green, reddish-purple, or brown. Blue-green algae generally grow in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams when the water is warm and enriched with nutrients like phosphorus or nitrogen.
When environmental conditions are just right, blue-green algae can grow very quickly in number. Most species are buoyant and will float to the surface, where they form scum layers or floating mats. When this happens, we call this a “blue-green algae bloom.” In Wisconsin, blue-green algae blooms generally occur between mid-June and late September, although in rare instances, blooms have been observed in winter, even under the ice.
Many different species of blue-green algae occur in Ohio waters, but the most commonly detected include Anabaena sp., Aphanizomenon sp., Microcystis sp., and Planktothrix sp. It is not always the same species that blooms in a given waterbody, and the dominant species present can change over the course of the season.