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Health officials warn of harmful algae blooms around Discovery Bay

DISCOVERY BAY – Contra Costa County health officials are warning residents of Discovery Bay, along with boaters and anyone who fishes or swims in the area, to stay away from harmful algae blooms that have recently emerged.

The county health department said Tuesday that a person and a dog that have recently come into contact with water in the area became sick. Officials said their symptoms were consistent with exposure to cyanobacteria toxin.

Samples taken by the State Water Resources Control Board in Discovery Bay revealed elevated levels of harmful algae, according to health officials.

Blooms are a buildup of blue-green algae or cyanobacteria that create a green, blue-green, white or brown coloring on the surface on slow-moving waterways, officials said.

In response, officials have provided caution signs to Reclamation District 800 to post at the town's marina urging people and pets to stay away from algae and scum in the water. Officials also warn that it is not safe to drink or cook with water from those areas or to eat fish or shellfish.

According to a map posted by the Water Resources Control Board, algae blooms have prompted advisories in other parts of the Delta and at Contra Loma Reservoir near Antioch.

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