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Blue-green algae found in Willow Pond in Huntington Bay, officials say

Village of Huntington Bay residents are being asked to stay out of Willow Pond after blue-green algae was discovered, officials from the Suffolk County Health Department said Thursday.

Pets and children should also be kept away from the area, officials also warned.

According to a news release, a recent sampling performed by Stony Brook University has confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria blooms — more commonly known as blue-green algae — and though the algae is naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, it can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red.

The algae may produce floating scum on the surface of the water or may cause the water to take on a paintlike appearance. Contact can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin, eye or throat irritation or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties, officials said.

Water containing the harmful algae will appear scummy or discolored and should be avoided. If contact occurs, rinsing off with clean water immediately is recommended and medical attention should be sought if any of the symptoms occur.

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