Blue-green algae that can kill dogs and make humans sick infects Lake District

AN algae that can kill dogs and make humans vomit has been found in the Lake District.

Sunshine-loving blue-green algae has infected Windermere, Derwentwater, Ullswater and Coniston Water.

It is potentially fatal to pets, wild animals and livestock and can make people sick or suffer painful skin rashes.

Steve Gaskell, of the Lake District National Park Authority, said shoreline owners were advised to put up signs.

"The EA has received reports of possible blue-green algae in both Windermere and Coniston.

"We advise if you come into contact with the water, wash in clean water.

"And if you feel ill, contact your doctor or nearest hospital.

"It can be fatal for pets and we would advise pets are kept away from the water."

The LDNPA says it is not possible to tell if blooms of blue-green algae are toxic just by looking at them, so it is "best to assume they are".

The algae, called cyanobacteria, naturally occurs in inland waters, estuaries and the sea.

But deadly toxic blooms can form in hot and sunny conditions.

People who have swam through or swallowed the algae can suffer from skin rashes, eye irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and muscle and joint pain.

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