Tallahassee, FL - The Florida Department of Health encourages residents and visitors to continue enjoying activities along the coast, and to stay informed about the current red tide blooms. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast predicts concentrations of red tide will increase throughout the week along portions of northwest Florida. There is currently elevated potential for respiratory irritation in Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties.
The department encourages everyone to consider these tips to stay safe while enjoying Florida’s beaches:
- In a red tide area, people can experience varying degrees of eye, nose and throat irritation. When a person leaves an area with a red tide, symptoms typically go away.
- People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic lung disease, are cautioned to avoid areas with active red tides.
- While swimming is safe for most people, red tide has the potential to cause some people skin irritation.
- In some red tides, dead fish wash ashore. It is advised that beachgoers avoid swimming in water where dead fish are present.
- If a pet swims in a red tide patch at the beach, rinse off its fur and paws as soon as possible with fresh water. Also, do not let pets eat fish or drink water from the red tide.
There are many resources available for additional information on red tide:
For updated red tide status reports, to track blooms or learn more about red tide, visit MyFWC.com/RedTide.
For more information on red tide and beach safety, please visit: Florida Department of Health: http://www.myfloridaeh.com/medicine/aquatic/index.html.
To access the Mote Marine Laboratory's beach conditions report visit www.mote.org/beaches.
To report illnesses from exposure to red tide, please call the Florida Poison Information Center at 1-800-222-1222.