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Health officials issue red tide alert in Sanibel and Captiva

This is in response to water samples taken on November 17, 2022
Sanibel Island
Posted at 8:42 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 16:22:21-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Lee County has issued a Health Alert for the presence of red tide blooms.

Officials say the red tide organism, Karenia Brevis, has been observed at very low to high concentrations in Lee County.

An alert level of Red Tide was found at Lighthouse Beach Park in Sanibel and Alison Hagerup Beach in Captiva after water samples were taken on November 17, 2022.

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 the 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 hav
    e 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.