CDC to Track Algal Blooms

The federal agency launches a new system to collect nationwide data on outbreaks of harmful algae and associated health problems.

Jun 23, 2016
Bob Grant

CDCThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week (June 22) launched the first national reporting system for harmful algal blooms, along with a new website to handle questions from the public and health professionals about the nature of the events and the health problems they can cause.

Researchers have reported an uptick in the occurrence and severity of harmful algal blooms in recent years, a change likely attributable to increased eutrophication due to farming, storm and wastewater runoff, among other potential causes. Bodies of water harboring exploding populations of some species of algae can be toxic to wildlife, humans, and their pets.

The CDC’s new reporting system, dubbed the One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System, seeks to collect and collate data on harmful algal blooms so that officials can better track and react to ongoing events while building a body of knowledge that may help prevent future blooms, the agency noted.