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DHS news release

June 24, 2005


Media contact: Bonnie Widerburg (503) 731-4180

Technical contact: Dave Stone, DHS (971) 673-0444

Local information: Deschutes National Forest (541) 383-5653


Public health advisory issued for Crane Prairie Reservoir



A health advisory prompted by high algae levels found in Crane Prairie Reservoir, located 45 miles southwest of Bend, was issued today by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), the Deschutes National Forest and the Deschutes County Health Department.


Water sampling by the Forest Service has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae that can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals, said Dave Stone, toxicologist with the Oregon DHS. These algae levels are likely to be associated with dangerous toxin concentrations in the water, according to World Health Organization guidelines.


Swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans or animals. Drinking water from Crane Prairie is especially dangerous. The toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water.


DHS recommends that if people choose to eat fish from this reservoir, they should remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues.


Symptoms of numbness, tingling, dizziness and paralysis can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems and require immediate medical attention. If symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting persist or worsen, people should seek medical attention. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.


The public will be advised when the advisory is lifted.


With proper precautions to avoid water contact, people are encouraged to visit Crane Prairie Reservoir and enjoy activities such as camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, catch-and-release fishing and bird watching.


For local information contact the Deschutes National Forest at (541) 383-5653.

Or call Deschutes County Health Department at (541) 322-7400.