Seattle Parks and Recreation has temporarily closed access to the water at Magnuson Park’s dogs off-leash area because of concerns about toxic algae.
The algae has been found in accumulated scum in Lake Washington along the shore of the off-leash area, according to Parks and Recreation. Tests from the water samples collected by King County Department of Natural Resources showed that some of the algae contained toxins.
Parks and Recreation closed the beach/water access in the area “out of an abundance of caution.” People and pets should not wade or play in the lake where the scum has accumulated. Access to the area will be closed until it is deemed safe for dogs to swim and play in the water.
Toxic algae blooms are most common in the summer and fall, but can occur year-round, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Blue-green algae can produce nerve toxins and liver toxins.
Nerve-toxin poisoning symptoms in humans include numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. Animal symptoms include weakness, staggering, difficulty breathing and convulsions. Liver-poisoning symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.
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