A health advisory was issued Friday for Fernan Lake, where toxic blue-green algae was found in the water.
People should avoid direct contact with water containing visible algae, according to a news release from the Panhandle Health District. Swallowing water is particularly dangerous to children and pets, and the toxins cannot be removed by boiling or filtering water, the district said.
In animals, a toxin that may be produced by the Anabaena algae can cause a rapid progression of neurological symptoms such as muscle spasm, decreased movement, labored breathing, convulsions and death. Though symptoms have not been documented in people, health officials advised the public to avoid any activity that could lead to ingesting the lake water.