Blooming algae in Stafford County's Aquia Creek made be a health risk to humans and pets, the county said Thursday.
Samples collected Monday showed that a blue-green algae called Microcystis aeruginosa was found in the creek, which can be toxic to both animals and humans.
The Virginia Health Department is advising people to avoid contact with the water in the areas of these algae blooms and to keep their pets out of the water. People who come into contact with the water may experience skin or respiratory irritation. If water is ingested, abdominal pain, jaundice, malaise, and/or vomiting may occur.
Pets that do come into contact with the water in Aquia Creek should be prevented from licking their coats and bathed as soon as possible to remove any blue-green algae or toxin. This toxin is potentially fatal to pets.