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Manatee Dept. of Health issues Health Alert for red tide at some beaches

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MANATEE COUNTY — The Florida Department of Health in Manatee County (DOH-Manatee) issued a health alert after a red tide algae bloom was detected on some beaches.

Due to elevated counts of red tide from beach water samples on Monday, Nov. 7, the DOH-Manatee said it will post signage at several beaches to advise the public that red tide is present.

The following beaches have elevated red tide levels:

  • Bayfront Park
  • Coquina Beach South
  • Longboat Pass/Coquina Boat Ramp
  • Rod and Reel Pier

According to the DOH-Manatee, 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-Manatee said people with existing breathing problems, like asthma, might experience more severe effects. If symptoms do not subside, the DOH-Manatee said you should contact your healthcare provider for evaluation.

The DOH-Manatee 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.