SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) said there are elevated levels of red tide detected at all 16 area beaches.
Earlier this month, DOH-Sarasota issued a health alert and posted signage at several beaches notifying the public of elevated levels of red tide.
Now, due to elevated counts of red tide from Monday's beach water samples, the DOH-Sarasota said they have posted signage at all beaches to advise the public that red tide is present.
According to the DOH-Sarasota, red tide can cause some people to have mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose and throat irritation. Symptoms can feel like a common cold or seasonal allergies. DOH-Sarasota said people with existing breathing problems, like asthma, might experience more severe effects.
If symptoms do not subside, the DOH-Sarasota said you should contact your healthcare provider for evaluation.
The DOH-Sarasota makes the following recommendations:
- Do not swim around dead fish.
- If you have chronic respiratory problems, consider staying away from the beach, as the red tide can affect your breathing.
- Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.
- Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam, and dead sea life.
- Residents living in beach areas who experience respiratory symptoms are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (ensuring that the A/C filter is maintained according to the manufacturer's specifications).
- If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.
For more information about red tide, visit here.