10 February 2023
A health warning has been issued today for Holdens Bay at Lake Rotorua. The health warning is based on the results released today for levels of cyanobacteria in water samples, visual assessments and satellite imagery provided by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
“The bloom at Holdens Bay at Lake Rotorua is likely to be of blue-green algae which can be toxic and so it is important to avoid any activity which results in contact with the lake water,” says Dr Lynne Lane, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health.
Contact with water affected by blooms of blue-green algae can cause asthma and hayfever attacks in some individuals. Contact with the blue-green algae can also cause skin rashes, stomach upsets, and in some cases neurological effects such as tingling around the mouth, headaches, breathing difficulties and visual problems.
“Algal mats and scum may also accumulate along the shoreline of the lake and so it’s especially important that parents ensure that children avoid contact with these as they may be toxic,” says Dr Lane.
Dogs are particularly at risk and should also be kept away from the shoreline. Elsewhere in New Zealand there have been reported deaths of dogs that have eaten algae on shorelines.
Up-to-date information on health warnings for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts is available through these channels.