LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Lee County (DOH-Lee) is warning of a red tide bloom near Lynn Hall Park (Fort Myers Beach) that may cause some people to have mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose and throat irritation similar to having a cold.
Some individuals with breathing problems such as asthma might experience more severe symptoms. Usually, symptoms subside when a person leaves the area or goes indoors. Health officials recommend that people experiencing these symptoms stay away from beach areas or go into an air-conditioned space.
If symptoms do not improve, please contact your health care provider for evaluation.
The Department recommends that you:
• Do not swim around dead fish at this location.
• If you have chronic respiratory problems, be careful and consider staying away from this location as red tide can affect your breathing.
• Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish from this location. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.
• Keep pets and livestock away from water, seafoam and dead sea life.
• 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, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.
Florida Poison Control Centers have a toll-free 24/7 Hotline for reporting of illnesses, including health effects from exposure to red tide at 1-800-222-1222.
Please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research website for additional information on locations where red tide has been found: myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/.