Harrison, Ark. (KFTA) -- The Buffalo River is seeing significant algal growth during hot and dry summer conditions.
The National Park Service issued a news release warning of the algae abundance in the Buffalo River.
"Most algae is harmless, but certain types can make people and pets sick if they swim in or drink water in close proximity to the algae," the news release states. "This year a species of blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) has been identified within the river. This species has the potential to produce cyanotoxins, which can be harmful to humans and pets. Unfortunately, you cannot tell if the algae would produce cyanotoxins just by looking at it."
The Park Service said that a few Buffalo River visitors have reported illness after swimming in areas with algae this July.
The Park Service has been collaborating with the US Public Health Service and the Arkansas Department of Health to determine the causes of the reported illnesses.
"The testing conducted so far has not identified a pathogen directly linked to algae; however, we are continuing to explore more extensive testing options with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," the news release states.
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