Editor's note: The video in this story aired July 12.
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- The swimming beach at Vancouver Lake has been reopened for the first time in two weeks after public health officials on Friday said test results show blue-green algae levels have dissipated.
The swimming beach has been closed on and off throughout the summer. The most recent closure began on July 24.
The lake has been under an algae advisory since June 12, when blue-green algae blooms were first detected. The lake is now under a caution advisory and will remain under an advisory as long as blooms are present, according to Clark County Public Health.
Toxin levels can increase as conditions at the lake change. Public Health officials have the following recommendations:
- No swimming or water skiing in areas of scum.
- No drinking lake water.
- No water contact for animals in areas of scum.
- Avoid areas of scum when boating.
- Clean fish well and discard organs.
Blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with skin. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact can lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation.
If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness.
The toxins can be fatal to pets that drink the water.
Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted online.