COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Collier County issued a Health Alert on Tuesday after the presence of a red tide bloom was detected near South Marco Beach and Marco Island Beach.
Red tide blooms have risen in number in the past two weeks, with health alerts issued up and down the Southwest Florida coast.
FDOH officials say the public should exercise caution in and around the affected areas.
Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
- Look for informational signage posted at most beaches.
- Stay away from the water, and do not swim in waters with dead fish.
- Those with chronic respiratory problems should be especially cautious and stay away from this location as red tide can affect your breathing.
- Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish, or distressed or dead fish from this location. If caught live and healthy, finfish are safe to eat as long as they are filleted and the guts are discarded. Rinse fillets with tap or bottled water.
- Wash your skin and clothing with soap and fresh water if you have had recent contact with red tide.
- Keep pets and livestock away and out of the water, sea foam, and dead sea life. If your pet swims in waters with red tide, wash it as soon as possible.
- Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner, making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to the manufacturer's specifications.
- If outdoors near an affected location, residents may choose to wear masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.