MANHATTAN, Kansas (AP) -- One Kansas State University experts warns Kansans to beware of the blue-green algae contaminating lakes across the state and nation.
Toxicologist Deon van der Merwe is the associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. He says health problems can arise when animals and people come into contact with various toxins produced by the toxic algae.
The most prominent problem involves a toxin called microsystin. It affects the gastrointestinal tract and liver. When animals are exposed to this toxin, they may experience vomiting or diarrhea. If the exposure is severe, it can be lethal and cause liver failure in animals.
Humans can also experience severe effects. But skin rashes, sneezing, coughing, irritated eyes, running noses and eye infections are more common.