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Cyanobacteria can produce toxins called cyanotoxins, this comes from the blooms that form. Health effects associated with exposure to cyanobacteria are: stomach and intestinal illness, breathing problems, allergic reactions, skin irritation, liver damage, and neurotoxic reactions.


Humans and animals.

Transmission / Exposure Route

Humans can be exposed to the bacteria by drinking contaminated water, swimming in water with a high concentration of the bacteria, or breathing air that contains the toxin.

Case Fatality Ratio

A number of human deaths have been reported through exposure to cyanobacterial toxins through renal dialysis and implicated in drinking water.

Incubation Period

4-26 days


Cyanobacteria is a single celled organism that use sunlight to make their own food. In warmer climates, blooms form on the surface of the water. This is where the name “blue green algae” comes from.

Enviromental Survival

Cyanobacteria is found everywhere; in bodies of water, as well as, on land. They thrive in cold lakes, hot springs, and waste water treatment plants.

Data from Other Sources

Read more:


by {{author}} On Global Water Pathogen Project


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Other names:

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NCBI Publications on Risk Assesment:

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