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The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has shared a warning this week put out by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality about the dangers of coming into contact with high concentrations of toxic algae in state bodies of water.

Little Camas Reservoir, located 100 miles northwest of Twin Falls, was the location of the first reported harmful algae bloom of the summer, according to the release by the IDHW. June 23, toxic cyanobacterial blooms were found in the waters, that prompted immediate attention.

This poisonous bacteria can cause death to humans, pets and wildlife, according to the department. The bacteria resembles paint floating in the water, and can form in a number of colors, particularly blue and green. Ingesting, or coming into contact with these blooms, can cause a wide range of reactions, including death, seizures, difficulty breathing, dizziness and numbness of the hands.

The heath department is asking people to avoid swimming in waters where these blooms are visible. If contact is made, rinsing is immediately advised.

Dierkes Lake was closed in late May due to algae that was later determined to be a non-threat to people.

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