Red tide detected at all beaches in Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – The Sarasota Department of Health has issued a health advisory for local beaches due to high red tide levels.

Beaches with high levels of red tide include Longboat Key, Bird Key Park/Ringling Causeway, North Lido, Lido Casino, South Lido, Siesta Beach, Turtle Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty, Venice Beach, Service Club, Venice Fishing Pier , Brohard Park, Caspersen, Manasota Key and Blind Pass.

Red tide is caused by harmful algae. It can kill wildlife and cause mild, short-lived respiratory symptoms in humans.

Symptoms include eye, nose, and throat irritation like those associated with the common cold or seasonal sinus allergies. Some people with existing breathing problems, such as asthma, may experience more severe effects.

Signs have been placed to warn visitors.

Health officials recommend that people sensitive to red tide or showing symptoms avoid the beach or go to an air-conditioned space. If symptoms do not go away, contact your health care provider for an evaluation.

The department makes the following recommendations:

  • Do not swim near 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 shellfish or distressed or dead fish. If the fish is healthy, rinse the fillets with tap or bottled water and discard the entrails.
  • Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam and dead marine life.
  • Residents living in beach areas who have respiratory symptoms are advised to close windows and run air conditioning (ensuring that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications).

Florida Poison Centers has a toll-free 24/7 hotline for reporting illnesses, including health effects from red tide exposure at 1-888-232-8635.

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