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Toxic algae blooms have been detected at Lake Mead National Recreation Area |

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Toxic algae blooms have been detected at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With cooler temperatures in the valley and more people going to Lake Mead Lake, toxic algae blooms have been detected in Cottonwood Cove and Nelson Landing.

According to the National Park Service, visitors are advised to avoid swimming in these areas to prevent contact with the potentially harmful cyanobacteria.

A person can be exposed to elevated levels of toxins if they swim, play in, or recreate on or in a waterbody where cyanobacteria may reproduce rapidly. Toxins can be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.

Pets may also be exposed to cyanotoxins if they drink water from a lake contaminated by cyanobacteria, lick their fur after swimming in contaminated water, or consume toxin-containing algal scum or mats. If pets happen to swim in algae bloom waters, wash them thoroughly.

Toxic algae bloom occurs when cyanobacteria multiply quickly, creating blooms that spread across the water’s surface. Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are microscopic organisms found naturally in fresh and saltwater. Algae blooms are more common in summer.

Park biologists will continue to monitor the affected sites to assess the potential impact on visitors' health and safety. To learn more about cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom, visit The CDC’s website.