Plan to visit a beach? Think again, as algae blooms close 5 WI beaches

Local News

FILE – In this Thursday, July 12, 2018 file photo, an algae bloom appears on the Caloosahatchee River at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam in Alva, Fla. A study released on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, shows America’s rivers are changing color, mostly because of what people are doing. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Anyone planning on taking a dip at some beaches in the Madison area will have to re-think their plans, as algae blooms have forced health officials to close five Madison-area beaches.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the first tests of the season revealed blue-green algae blooms at beaches at BB Clarke, Olbrich and Warner parks and the Hudson Park lake access point.

Health officials also have closed Fireman’s Park in Verona as a precaution although regular monitoring hasn’t started there yet.

Public Health Madison and Dane County, the city-county joint health department, is urging swimmers to check conditions before entering the water at any beach since algae levels can change quickly.

The algae blooms can make both pets and humans sick. The blooms result from fertilizer running off into lakes and ponds.

Also, a bat found in a park in Madison tested positive for rabies.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the bat was discovered Wednesday near the restrooms in Olbrich Park.

Public Health Madison and Dane County, the city-count joint health department, says the bat is the fourth to test positive for rabies in the state and second in Dane County this year.

The department says anyone who suspects they’ve been in contact with a bat should consult a doctor. Bats have such small teeth it can be difficult to know if someone has been bitten.

Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that spreads from animals to people through an infected animal’s saliva. It can cause fever, vomiting, muscle weakness, drooling and convulsions.

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