- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Visitors to the Ohio River in southern Illinois are being cautioned about potential toxins from blue-green algae.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency issued the warning Tuesday. The agencies are working with the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission following reports of an algal bloom in the river. A bloom hasn’t yet been confirmed near Illinois, but conditions could lead to one.

Toxins from the algae can cause rashes, vomiting and coughing. Health officials say if you think you’ve come in contact with blue-green algae, rinse off with clean water.

Illinois has been working with the Illinois American Water Company-Cairo public water system, which draws from the Ohio River. Officials want to raise awareness and make sure the best treatment practices are in use.

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