Urgent holiday warning as lung-busting toxic algae swamps tourist resorts infecting hundreds of beachgoers

AN URGENT holiday warning has been issued as toxic lung-busting algae swamps tourist resorts and infects hundreds of beachgoers.

Holidaymakers who have survived the scorching heatwave across Europe now have a new health scare to worry about.

AFPHolidaymakers have been warned of the massive rise in growth of toxic algae across Europe amid soaring temperatures[/caption]

French officials raised the alarm on the creeping menace when they reported an outbreak of the algae in BiarritzAFP

The soaring temperatures have led to a massive rise in the growth of a poisonous microalgae that can give off crippling fumes and attacks swimmers’ lungs.

Experts say the algae can cause severe flu-like symptoms and affects victims’ respiratory systems.

Medics say the algae – known as Ostreopis – can now be found on almost all Spanish beaches both in the water and clinging to rocks and even sand.

Local media reported it has infected sea fauna leading to huge numbers of deaths.

French health officials raised the alarm on the creeping menace when they reported an outbreak of the algae in Biarritz, in the northern French region of Basque Country.

The country’s National Health Security Agency said swimmers, surfers and other beach users had reported nausea, fatigue and infected eyes.

French experts report nearly 1,000 infections since 2021.

The microalgae produces toxins that are left in the air and – if breathed in – create health problems.

But it has been revealed that even breathing in the sea spray from several metres away from the water can be enough to cause illness, and infection can also occur through skin contact and ingestion.

Symptoms typically surface within hours of direct or indirect contact with the algae and tend to disappear within a matter of days.

Algae expert Dr Elisa Berdalet – from the Sea Science Institute in Spain – told local media the spread of the algae had been caused by climate change causing warmer semi-tropical seas.

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health And Safety (ANSES) say holidaymakers should be warned of outbreaks and local officials could ban beach use during peak infection times in the summer.

ANSES spokeswoman Carole Catastini, said: “People with breathing problems have more risks of having symptoms. They have to avoid the coast when there is a blooming of Ostreopsis.”

This comes after holidaymakers were warned to avoid a popular destination last month after toxic algae was detected in the water.

Unusual algae was found in a beach in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, and authorities urged tourists to stay clear of the area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow by Email