The Kern County Public Health Services Department is urging anyone who spends time at Lake Isabella to exercise caution to avoid 'potentially harmful' algae.

The department recently received water samples from eight different locations in Lake Isabella, and two water samples indicated the presence of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, at a cautionary level. This type of algae can be considered potentially harmful.

The department is issuing an advisory for Kissack Cove and Hanning Flat at Isabella Lake, and health advisory signs are being posted to advise people to use caution and stay away from algae and scum.

Blue-green algae is capable of producing toxins, which can potentially harm people, pets, wildlife and livestock. Dogs and children are most likely to be affected because of their size and the potential they will swallow water.

Exposure to blue-green algae can cause eye irritation, skin rashes, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea and cold-like symptoms, according to the department.

The department urges anyone who comes into contact with blue-green algae and experiences symptoms to seek medical treatment.

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