TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Local health officials said red tide could cause problems for any Pinellas County beachgoers this weekend.
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County said a red tide bloom has been found along some of the coastal beaches, which could cause some minor health problems for those in the area.
DOH-Pinellas said some may have eye, nose, and throat irritation, but those with asthma and other pre-existing breathing conditions may experience more severe symptoms.
The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science said beaches in Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota counties could experience a moderate to high chance of respiratory irritation from red tide for the next 36 hours. The irritation is most likely when winds are blowing on the beach.
“As soon as I walk out the door, I start to get an itch in the back of my throat and a cough, and it’s not very pleasant,” said Jeff stein, visiting from Delaware.
Stein had thought he’d be swimming and doing other water sports, but because of red tide, he’s sticking to sunbathing.
“It’s the smell and the dead fish floating, that’s the worst part,” he said.
Health officials say any irritation should alleviate itself once individuals leave the area. If not, contact your health provider.