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Long IslandSuffolk

Health officials warn of blue-green algae in Southampton's Little Fresh Pond

Because of the confirmed presence of blue-green algae, residents are asked to steer clear of swimming or, wading in, and otherwise using, waters of Little Fresh Pond in the Town of Southampton, Suffolk County health officials said Friday. Pets and children should be kept away from the area, officials said.

Similar precautions should be taken with other locations with blue-green algae -- Sagaponack Pond, Southampton; Georgica Pond, East Hampton; Roth Pond, Stony Brook University; McKay Lake, Calverton; Fort Pond, Montauk; Kellis Pond, Bridgehampton; Wainscott Pond, Wainscott; Agawam Lake and Mill Pond, Southampton; Maratooka Lake, Mattituck; Lake Ronkonkoma off Pond Road in the Town of Brookhaven.

Any water looking "scummy or discolored should be avoided." 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.

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.

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