Algae bloom that has been identified in Laurel Lake in the town of Lenox can be harmful to you and to your four-legged best friend, and local health officials are warning against recreation at the popular lake.

The Tri-Town Health Department, with guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued a public health advisory due to the presence of Cyanobacteria, which is a harmful algae bloom that was discovered near the west end of Laurel lake.

Stay clear of the water...

Health officials, as part of an afternoon press release, are saying that recreational activities such as swimming, boating, or fishing should be avoided in that section of the lake while the Cyanobacteria remain present.

According to, Cyanobacteria, also known sometimes as Blue-Green Algae, can be very harmful to humans and to animals. The blooms produce what are known as Cyanotoxins, which can be very harmful at low levels in surface water bodies.

The list of symptoms from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention seems like things we would all probably like to avoid...

According to the CDC, exposure can cause conjunctivitis, rhinitis, earache, sore throat, and swollen lips. Respiratory effects can include atypical pneumonia and a hay fever-like syndrome. Exposure can also cause electrolyte imbalances, headache, malaise, and muscle weakness/ pain in joints and limbs.

Signs are posted at the lake regarding this advisory. For more information on Cyanobacteria, you can go HERE. You can also visit the Tri-Town Health Department's website, HERE.

We will follow this story, as the Tri-Town Health Department will likely let us know when it is safe to use the lake for recreation once again.

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

LOOK: 30 fascinating facts about sleep in the animal kingdom

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

More From WUPE