Harmful algal bloom (HAB) monitoring is concurrent with the water recreation season, April 1 through October 31. The public is encouraged to stay informed year-round because exposure through contact or ingestion can cause illness for animals and humans. Blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may move across a water body due to wind or water current, so lake visitors must use their best judgment. See if your lake is on the list of public health advisories due to blue-green algae.
Symptoms & How to Report
If you observe a scum or paint-like surface on the water, small floating blue-green clumps or filaments in the water, or if the water is an opaque green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present. HAB toxins can be absorbed by ingestion, inhalation of aerosols and even skin contact. Symptoms vary depending upon the type of exposure, but can include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and headache. Pet and livestock owners should be aware that animals that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or die. Suspected HAB-related health incidents, whether human or animal should be reported, regardless of season.
For more information on blue-green algae and reporting, visit kdhe.ks.gov/HAB and check out our interactive story.