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Toxins 2015, 7(2), 353-366; doi:10.3390/toxins7020353

Human Illnesses and Animal Deaths Associated with Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms—Kansas

Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 1000 SW Jackson Street, Suite 075, Topeka, KS 66612, USA
Florida Department of Health, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Tallahassee, FL 32399, USA
Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, 1800 Denison Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lorraine Backer
Received: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 30 January 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [460 KB, uploaded 30 January 2015]


Freshwater harmful algal bloom (FHAB) toxins can cause morbidity and mortality in both humans and animals, and the incidence of FHABs in the United States and Kansas has increased. In 2010, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) developed a FHAB policy and response plan. We describe the epidemiology of FHAB-associated morbidity and mortality in humans and animals in Kansas. Healthcare providers and veterinarians voluntarily reported FHAB-associated cases to KDHE. An investigation was initiated for each report to determine the source of exposure and to initiate public health mitigation actions. There were 38 water bodies with a confirmed FHAB in 2011. There were 34 reports of human and animal FHAB-associated health events in 2011, which included five dog deaths and hospitalization of two human case patients. Five confirmed human illnesses, two dog illnesses and five dog deaths were associated with one lake. Four human and seven dog cases were exposed to the lake after a public health alert was issued. Public health officials and FHAB partners must ensure continued awareness of the risks to the public, educate healthcare providers and veterinarians on FHAB-related health events and encourage timely reporting to public health authorities. View Full-Text
Keywords: blue-green algae; canine; cyanobacteria; cyanotoxin; dog; harmful algal bloom; hepatotoxin; microcystin blue-green algae; canine; cyanobacteria; cyanotoxin; dog; harmful algal bloom; hepatotoxin; microcystin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Trevino-Garrison, I.; DeMent, J.; Ahmed, F.S.; Haines-Lieber, P.; Langer, T.; Ménager, H.; Neff, J.; van der Merwe, D.; Carney, E. Human Illnesses and Animal Deaths Associated with Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms—Kansas. Toxins 2015, 7, 353-366.

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