(WFLA) – Officials confirmed Friday Red Tide is still an issue in Southwest Florida.
“Over the past week, Karenia brevis was observed in background to high concentrations in seven samples collected from Pinellas County; background to high concentrations in six samples collected from Manatee County; background to medium concentrations in twenty samples collected from Sarasota County; background to very low concentrations in three samples collected from Charlotte County; background to low concentrations in eight samples collected from Lee County; and background to low concentrations in six samples collected from Collier County,” the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory said.
FWC says it’s still safe to swim. However, red tide can cause skin irritation, so officials suggest you rinse off properly afterwards. In addition, people with chronic respiratory problems such as asthma and COPD could be more prone to coughing.
In addition to the high Karenia brevis concentrations, fish kills have occurred in Pinellas, Charlotte and Collier counties during the past week.
“Slight respiratory irritation has been reported in some areas of Pinellas and Charlotte counties over the past week,” the scientists said.
READ MORE ABOUT RED TIDE:
- Dead fish washing up at Sarasota and Manatee County beaches
- Red tide found in high concentrations along several Tampa Bay area beaches
- Mote researcher trying to discover what causes red tide to bloom