Public Health Advice - Red Algal Blooms Waipu Cove and Bream Bay areas | Northland DHB

Public Health Advice - Red Algal Blooms Waipu Cove and Bream Bay areas

Background 

This week the Northland Regional Council continued to investigate the Red algal bloom in the Waipu estuary. The warm and relatively shallow conditions in the lagoon were probably initially favourable for the red algae to continue to grow, but that had changed once the algae began to die with its resulting decomposition consuming much of the oxygen in the water. In the upper area of the lagoon there’s very little circulation and exchange of water with the open coast and NRC recorded very low dissolved oxygen concentrations in the lagoon. 

Public Health Advice 

Ngā Tai Ora – Public Health Northland DHB have assessed the public health risk associated with the red algal bloom in the Waipu estuary - Waipu Cove and Bream Bay area.

While there appears to be no immediate public health risk we recommend the following precautions: 

  • to stay clear and upwind of the suspected source
  • do not enter the area
  • stay away from low lying areas where the gas may be accumulated
  • If you are feeling unwell to remove seek medical advice from your GP or call Healthline for free health advice and information on 0800 611 116.

Additional things that you can do: 

  • do not eat shellfish from the Waipu estuary at this time
  • close windows of homes nearby particularly when wind blows towards the houses. And also at night so people who are sleeping don't get exposed while they are asleep in the middle of the night 
  • Keep dogs away from playing in/nearby
  • Keep children away from playing in/nearby
  • Avoid swimming or other water contact

Members of the public with any queries about public health safety should call:

  • Whangarei Hospital on 09 4304 100 and ask to speak with the on-call Health Protection Officer.

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