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Emergency Warning to Tourists Visiting New Zealand, Health Bulletin # 3

Posted by feww on February 28, 2008

[New Zealand Poisoning Syndrome (NZPS), Health Bulletin # 3. Toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), Feb. 13, 2008]

If You Must Visit New Zealand, Ask Yourself This:
Do I Feel Lucky?

New Zealand health officials have closed another lake in Hawk’s Bay, Lake Tutira, north of Napier, due to cyanobacteria poisoning (toxic blue-green algae) warning swimmers against coming into contact with the water.

Nearly all of New Zealand rivers are infested by blue-green algae—some to a dangerous extent.

Below extracts from: Truth About ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ Advertising Campaign

Toxins from certain species of cyanobacteria “are poisonous to cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks (domestic and wild), pigeons, geese, herons, songbirds, dogs, rabbits, small wild and domestic animals, and even frogs, fish and snakes. Cyanobacterial toxins are primarily neurotoxic (affect the nervous system) and hepatotoxic (affect the liver). Clinical signs in cyanobacterial poisoning include nervous derangement, staggering, tremors and severe abdominal pain.”

“Intoxication with cyanobacteria is characterized by convulsions, ataxia (in- coordination), bloody diarrhea and sudden death. Affected animals rarely range far from the water source.”

The toxins are also poisonous to humans and can cause liver damage, asthma attacks, gastroenteritis, skin rashes, eye irritations and allergic responses.

The toxins are absorbed from the water that contains high concentrations of cyanobacteria or cyanobacterial toxins via ingestion (drinking or swimming in contaminated water) or via inhalation (breathing air that contains airborne toxins.) [For references, click here.]

Original Report: Toxic algae closes lake to swimmers

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Posted in blue-green algae, health, medical, New Zealand, New Zealand Poisoning Syndrome, Tourism, toxin, Travel | 4 Comments »