Last updated: 12:15 PM ET, Sun August 07 2016

Deadly Algae Toxin Found in Popular Sonoma County River

Impacting Travel | Amy Coyne Bredeson | August 07, 2016

Deadly Algae Toxin Found in Popular Sonoma County River

Photo via Wikimedia Commons 

Health officials in California have posted warnings at all public beaches along the Russian River after a small amount of a deadly algae toxin was found in the water, SFGate reported. 

The Russian River is a popular tourist destination in Sonoma County, surrounded by ancient redwoods, where people come from all over to kayak, canoe and swim.

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Water tests performed Thursday found the blue-green algae toxin called anatoxin at four public beaches along the Russian River, SFGate reported. Officials are cautioning people to keep their pets and children away from algae in the river.

Last year, a dog died after ingesting water from the same river, the news site said.

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Sonoma County deputy public health officer Karen Holbrook told SFGate that the levels of anatoxin found Thursday were only about 1 percent of the amount measured in the river when the dog died last year. She also said the trace amount could still be dangerous.

“We are trying to keep people educated and informed so they can make the best decisions possible for themselves, their children and their pets,” Holbrook told SFGate. “It’s low levels, but it is an important and dangerous toxin that we need to be aware of.”

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