CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Officials have closed public access to a lake in Virginia's Albemarle County due to the presence of a harmful algae bloom in the water.
On the county's website, officials say the algae bloom in Chris Greene Lake is a "naturally occurring circumstance due to recent weather conditions." Preliminary tests indicate the elevated presence of a type of blue-green algae that can cause rashes and other illnesses.
Authorities say people and pets are prohibited from the lake's water until concentrations return to acceptable levels.
Algae are essential to food chains, but these tiny plants and bacteria sometimes multiply out of control. A leading cause is often fertilizer runoff.
Within the past decade, outbreaks have been reported in every state, a trend likely to accelerate as climate change boosts water temperatures.