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SACRAMENTO — A toxic algae recently found in Shasta Lake has water quality agencies urging swimmers and boaters to stay away.

The algae is a blue-green color currently blooming in the Pit River Arm of the lake in Northern California. This particular algae poses health risks to children and pets in particular. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board recommends that people avoid contact with water where this algae is blooming, and to avoid swallowing or inhaling water spray in the area.

The bloom appears bright green in the water with streaks that look like spilled paint. They can also appear with a bluish tint, white or brown foam, and as scum or mats that accumulate on the shore.

Recreational exposure to toxic blue-green algae can cause eye irritation, allergic skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, and cold and flu-like symptoms. Pets can be especially susceptible since they tend to drink the water and lick their fur after going in the water.

For more information, please visit the California Department of Public Health website below:

Brookelynn Graditi filed this report.