What You Need to Know About Blue-Green Algae

Sep 12, 2019
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What You Need to Know About Blue-Green Algae

Blue-green algae has been identified as a threat to the health and lives of dogs across the United States and is present in certain lakes in Texas. While the danger to dogs has been well-publicized in the media, this substance could also result in a trip to a Sugar Land emergency clinic for humans who come in contact with it. Avoiding areas with significant blue-green algae blooms is critical to ensure the safety of people and pets in our area. If you or your children do swallow water in an area where algae growth has been reported or spotted, a trip to your Sugar Land emergency room could prevent serious health issues for you and your family.

A Deadly Combination

Most experts attribute the recent increase in blue-green algae in our area to the ample rainfall we have received so far this year combined with plenty of sunlight and agricultural pollution, which typically promotes much faster growth when it comes in contact with these algae. Warm water with little movement is an ideal growth medium for algae, which can then produce toxic materials like anatoxins and microcystins. These are responsible for many deaths among dogs and can lead to serious health issues among children or adults who swallow significant amounts of water.

Immediate Treatment Is Required

Microcystins and anatoxins act differently to attack the bodies of dogs and humans:

  • Microcystins attack the function of the liver, which affects its ability to clear toxins from the bloodstream.
  • Anatoxins go after the nervous system and cause serious disruption of its function.

In dogs, the effects of exposure to these substances will typically be evident within a few hours. In some cases, the results can be seen within minutes of exposure. Children are at lower risk because they are less likely to swallow large amounts of water. Nonetheless, if you believe that your children or any other members of your family may have been exposed to blue-green algae, making a trip to your Sugar Land emergency clinic is a good idea to prevent issues that could otherwise be prevented. Your Sugar Land emergency team will perform a thorough examination to make sure that you and your family are protected against the dangers that blue-green algae growth could potentially pose.

St. Michael’s Emergency Room offers 24-hour emergency care available on nights, weekends and holidays. Our Sugar Land emergency clinic offers quality care with minimal wait times to help you and your family feel better fast. Our team is rated number one in patient satisfaction in our local area. Give us a call today at 281-980-4357 to let us know that you are on your way. We are here to help.