SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Health officials are warning people to stay out of Lake Anna due to the blooming of harmful algae.

Dangerous algae concentrations exceeding safe levels in the lake have led to swimming and recreation in the waterways of Lake Anna being declared off limits for the next month, the Virginia Department of Health reported.

Samples collected by health officials at Pamunkey Branch, Terry’s Run, and the North Anna Branch showed cyanobacteria blooms which can cause skin rashes and gastrointestinal illnesses, like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Image credit: Spotsylvania County Government

While the Health Department is reporting that the state park is acceptable, the span of time needed to clear the area for swimmers has not passed.

Experts are telling people not to swim or fish and to keep pets away from areas of the lake and waterways that smell bad, look discolored or have foam or scum on the surface.

Image credit: Spotsylvania County Government

The alert from these tests was issued on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and the Virginia Department of Health will release the results of the next set of water tests on the week of Oct. 10.