AUSTIN, Texas — A toxin called cylindrospermopsin has been detected in Barton Creek at Sculpture Falls near MoPac and Loop 360, the City of Austin reports. This toxin is produced by certain types of blue-green algae and is harmful to humans and animals.

Samples were taken earlier this month after human illness was reported and results were received on Wednesday, Sept. 24. Levels of the toxin detected were above EPA value for recreational use. People and pets should not swim or ingest the water.

This incident is different from the harmful algae detected in other bodies of water in Austin and have different side effects. Cylindrospermopsin can cause liver and kidney damage. Other side effects include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, fever and headaches.

The City of Austin advises people and pets to avoid stagnant, warm water or any discolored or foul-smelling water. Heavy rainfall tends to bring higher levels of bacteria so it is good to wait a couple days after before swimming.

If you believe you have been exposed to this toxin, seek medical attention immediately. Call 311 to report possible illness for people and pets from this algae.