Toxic algae in Hurunui River

Last updated 15:28 18/02/2013

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Potentially toxic blue-green algae has been found in the Hurunui River near SH1.

The Community and Public Health division of the Canterbury District Health Board issued the warning today, stating people and animals - particularly dogs - should avoid the area until the notice was lifted. 

Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink said the algae looked like dark brown or black mats, and could produce harmful toxins.

Exposure to the algae could cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips.

Boiling water from the river did not remove the toxin, Pink said. 

Health warnings issued during the last few months for parts of the Ashley and Selwyn rivers are also still in place.

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- The Press

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