(8-20-21) According to The Fresno Bee – Toxic algae blooms are among hazards being considered by investigators working to determine how a healthy Mariposa, California couple, their 1-year-old daughter, and dog that mysteriously died along a Sierra National Forest trail. The family who was found dead included John Gerrish, Ellen Chung, their daughter, Miju, and family dog, Oski.
The family may have been exposed to cyanobacterial toxins, which can form in algal blooms. The water was being retested on Thursday by the California State Water Resources Control Board and Mariposa County.
Blair Robertson, a State Water Board spokesperson
“While there has been speculation that the cause of the deaths may be tied to harmful algal blooms (HABs) in a remote river or lake, we are not aware of any such evidence at this time. Our staff is conducting testing of the waterways near where the bodies were located and will make the lab results available to the public as soon as we get them. Autopsies were to be conducted earlier today and we await those findings. Our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.”
Autopsies of the family are being conducted to find the cause and elminate options that are being considered.
Algae blooms have been an issue in Grand Lake for several years, but it has also been an issue all around the US. Different issues can cause blooms to form and efforts led by the Lake Improvement Association has been leading the charge to eliminate or control the problem…but it has been a battle.