Because of the confirmed presence of blue-green algae, people are asked to refrain from using the waters of Roth Pond on Stony Brook University's main campus, Suffolk County health officials said Friday. Pets and children should be kept away from the area, officials said.

Stony Brook University Environmental Health and Safety specialists have posted "blue-green algae bloom advisory signs in several locations around the pond, as recommended by the New York State Department of Health," Lauren Sheprow, with Stony Brook media relations, said in an email. The man-made pond is not used for swimming, she said.

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, is naturally present in low numbers, but can increase, forming blooms of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red, as well as floating scum, the county health department said in a release.

Suffolk residents should also take the precautions of not swimming or wading in or otherwise using waters at other locations with blue-green algae -- McKay Lake in Calverton, Fort Pond in Montauk, Kellis Pond in Bridgehampton, Wainscott Pond in Wainscott, Agawam Lake and Mill Pond in Southampton, Maratooka Lake in Mattituck.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Any water looking "scummy or discolored should be avoided," health officials said. If contact does occur, rinse off with clean water and see a doctor for symptoms that can include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation; allergic reactions or breathing difficulties, the health department said.

Learn more at