In scorching summer heat, what better way to cool off than to head to the nearest beach! But you should avoid doing that if you live in Mississippi. That is because all of the state’s 21 beaches have been closed down for swimming due to a blue-green toxic algae bloom that is harmful for both humans and their pets.
Toxic algae blooms occur when “colonies of algae — simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater — grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people” or wildlife, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says. It can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, the state agency warned.