Harmful Blue-Green Algae Concerns Lake Erie Visitors

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By Enrique Correa, Fox 8 News, Reporting

CLEVELAND -- A harmful algae bloom found on Lake Erie has some beach-goers concerned this Fourth of July.   

On Monday, the Lake County Health District discovered blue-green algae in Lake Erie.
The algae is a naturally occurring bacteria that can produce poisons that can cause people to get sick with symptoms like headaches, sore throat, dizziness and vomiting.

Latese Gordon, of Cleveland, says she's keeping a watchful eye on her children.

"It does scare you a little bit. My kids have eczema, so I’m going to have to clean their skin real good."

State park work crews were on the beach at Headlands State Park putting up signs, warning people about the possibly toxic blue-green algae found on the lake.

Kimmi Clevenger, of Akron, says she was going to take her newborn in the lake but now says otherwise.

"I have a 2-month-old who I wanted to bring in the water for the first time, thinking he may enjoy it, and there's no way he’s going in."

Some beach-goers, who didn’t know about the possibly toxic blue-green algae, wish they were properly warned. They say signs should have been posted sooner, before people began enjoying the water.

Melanie Gordon says her family is thinking twice about going in.

"I feel that they should have put that sign before people got here and they would have determined to get in that water for themselves about that algae."

Amber Maglionico, of Aurora, says she wishes she knew about the warnings before she let her daughter take a dip.

"My 2-year-old has been swimming in the water and putting her head in it all day, but if you would have seen the sign you wouldn't have done that? Oh no, I probably would have kept her out of the water."

Health officials recommend once you come out of Lake Erie, you should rinse off as quickly as possible. Fortunately, many parks around the lake have outdoor showers so people can rinse off.

Scott Giaimo, of Columbus, has been coming to the lake all his life and says he's not too worried about the algae.

"If you wash off real good when you are done, then you should be fine. Don't drink the water ... not that I would anyway."

But some beach-goers like Mario Deloache say despite the algae warnings they just wanted to enjoy a day at the beach.

"I'm not too worried about it. It's a holiday, it's hot outside, just wanna keep her cool," Deloache said, while holding his young daughter.

The blue-green algae that was taken out of Lake Erie is being tested by Lake County officials. Results are expected at the end of the week.

Click here for more information on the potentially harmful algal blooms in Lake County. For information regarding the blooms in Fairport Harbor, click here.

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