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Algae make Maratooka Lake in Mattituck off-limits

Suffolk County health officials advised adults and children on Friday to avoid contact with water in Maratooka Lake in Mattituck due to the presence of blue-green algae.

Pets also should be kept clear, officials said.

That goes also for Mill Pond in Water Mill, Agawam Lake in Southampton, Roth Pond at SUNY Stony Brook and Lake Ronkonkoma, where blue-green algae, also known as a cyanobacteria bloom, continue to be present, officials said.

Naturally found in low numbers in lakes and streams, blue-green algae “can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red,” health officials said. The organisms can also create scum floating on the surface or cause water to assume a “paintlike appearance.”

Residents who come in contact with the water should wash it off immediately with clean water. Residents should get medical attention if any of these symptoms occur: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation; or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties, according to the county news release. If symptoms develop, residents should contact the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

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