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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Health

Blue-green algae fear forces health advisory in Grant County after pet passes away

Aug. 25, 2021 Updated Wed., Aug. 25, 2021 at 8:51 p.m.

The Grant County Health District issued a blue-green algae health advisory over the weekend because a dog died shortly after swimming in water near Priest Rapids Dam.

The health district recommends the public avoid contact with water near Desert Aire along the shoreline and keep a lookout for blue-green algae blooms.

An investigation is underway, but the dog became ill and died shortly after swimming in waters at the Priest Rapids Recreation Area, according to a news release from the heath district.

They are collecting water samples to confirm that blue-green algae is present in the area.

Blue-green algae has taken a tragic toll on Inland Northwest pets this summer, with four dogs dying in the Spokane area after swimming in waters confirmed to contain blue-green algae in early August.

Pets are especially at risk to blue-green algae because of their tendency to ingest water and lick their fur after swimming.

Blue-green algae is actually not algae at all, but a large class of cyanobacteria that thrive in warm and nutrient-rich waters. The bacteria produces toxins that are dangerous in high enough concentrations.

Children and the immunocompromised are also at particular risk of being affected by the cyanobacteria.

Blue-green algae will usually look like gobs of floating scum or greenish streaks of oil in the water.

Grant County will release findings from the water samples later this week.

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