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Suffolk issues warning about blue-green algae in Roth Pond

Residents are advised to refrain from wading in, swimming in or otherwise coming in contact with the waters of Roth Pond at Stony Brook University because of the presence of blue-green algae, Suffolk County health officials said Friday.

Children and pets also should be kept clear of the area.

The same advisory remains in effect for Lake Ronkonkoma and Agawam Lake in Southampton, where the algae, also known as a cyanobacteria bloom, was still present as of Friday. Advisories were issued for both bodies of water earlier this month.

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 organism also can create scum floating on the surface or cause water to assume a “paint-like appearance.”

If contact is made with the water, residents 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.

Learn more at Suffolk County’s website: www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/EnvironmentalQuality/Ecology/MarineWaterQualityMonitoring/HarmfulAlgalBlooms/Cyanobacteria.aspx.

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