Southwest District Health (SWDH) is issuing a health advisory for C.J. Strike Reservior.
Recent samples taken from the water show high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to people, pets and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.
SWDH urges people to use caution when recreating near the water while the advisory is in effect. People should avoid swimming, wading and other activities in the water. SWDH also advises you do not drink the water, as boiling and filtering will not remove the toxins.
Exposure to Cyanotoxins can cause rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting and wheezing, according to SWDH. More severe symptoms could affect the liver and nervous system.
If pets or livestock are exposed, wash them in clean water immediately. If they appear sick, seek veterinary care immediately.
Cyanotoxins can also accumulate in fish, but the risk to people is still being researched. Regardless, anglers should wash their hands thoroughly in clean water after handling fish. SWDH should you choose to eat fish caught in water experiencing a bloom, you should clean it thoroughly in clean water, dispose of the internal organs, as well as remove all fat and skin before cooking.
According to SWDH, cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho bodies of water. With high temperatures, the populations can bloom, releasing cyanotoxins into the water.
Blooms vary in appearance, and may look like mats, foam, spilled paint or surface scum. They also have a foul odor.
For more information on harmful algal blooms, click here.