NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Department of Health and R.I. Department of Environmental Management are urging the public to avoid contact with Almy Pond in Newport due to blue-green algae bloom being found.

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can produce toxins that may be harmful humans and animals, so people should not ingest water or fish from the pond.

Recreational activities such as fishing, boating and kayaking should be avoided, officials said, and pet owners should keep their pets out of the water.

Symptoms from contact/consuming blue-green algae include:

  • Irritation of skin, nose, eyes, and/or throat
  • Stomachache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting/Nausea
  • Dizziness (more rare)
  • Headache (more rare)
  • Fever (more rare)
  • Liver damage (more rare)
  • Nervous system damage (more rare)

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Anyone who’s had contact with Almy Pond and is experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider, take a shower and wash their clothes. If a pet came into contact with the water, wash them with clean water, prevent them from licking the algae, and call a veterinarian if the pet shows symptoms such as loss of energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or any other unexplained illness.

Officials say it’s possible that blue-green alga blooms are impacting other bodies of water in Rhode Island. Any water source that shows a bright green coloration at the surface and/or floating algal mats on the surface should be avoided.

Contaminated water may look similar to green paint, thick pea soup or green cottage cheese.

To report suspected blue-green algae blooms, contact the DEM’s Office of Water Resources at (401) 222-4700.

LEARN MORE: Blue-Green Algae »