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Health officials warn of blue-green algae in Clay County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As Floridians hit the water this Fourth of July, the health department warns of toxic blue-green algae spotted in area lakes and waterways.

Health officials put out a warning for Clay County’s Doctor’s Lake last week.

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“If there’s any green stuff in there, I’m not gonna get in,” Lorie Carley said.

The health department issued the warning for the northwest side of the lake last week. Carley reportedly also saw it on the southeast side.

“As the boat was doing its thing, it was spitting up green water. And so I said to myself, ‘I’m not getting in it,’” she said.

The health department says people and pets should be cautious. Avoid drinking the water, swimming or wading in it and using water skis.

Read: FWC cracking down on BUI this Fourth of July

According to the health department, the algae is a type of bacteria commonly found in Florida’s freshwater.

Sunny days and warm, still water contribute to algal blooms, the health department said.

For Carley, playing it safe is key.

“I would listen to the warnings, you know, you don’t wanna get sick,” she said.

If you’re exposed to high levels of blue-green algae, it can give you diarrhea, nausea or cause you to vomit. It can cause skin, eye, or throat irritation and even allergic reactions and difficulty breathing.

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