24 Jan 2014

Health warning for Canterbury lagoon

9:22 pm on 24 January 2014

A health warning has been issued for a North Canterbury lagoon after a toxic blue-green algae was found.

Canterbury's Medical Officer of Health Ramon Pink says people and animals should avoid the St Annes/Mata Kopae Lagoon, a wildlife sanctuary near Cheviot.

Dr Pink says exposure can cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingers.

The algae gives the water a green soupy appearance and people or animals who show signs of illness after coming into contact with the water should visit a doctor or vet immediately, he says.

Even boiled water from this lagoon should be avoided, along with fish and shellfish.