With a record number of beach closures in 2015, the Iowa DNR is expecting this year to be the same or worse. "The the forecasted temperatures by the end of the week, we'll really start to see some of these blooms popping," said Mary Skopec, beach monitoring coordinator at the DNR. "We probably won't see advisories this week, but we will next week. Current beach closings are due to e coli bacteria."
As part of a pilot program, the DNR began tracking microcystin poisoning a few years ago, and on average 2-10 Iowans fall ill to microcystin toxin (the toxin released by cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae) every season.
While the toxins can be deadly to small animals and pets, they most often cause skin rashes and flu-like symptoms in people.
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