Red tide beach hazard: NWS warns of possible respiratory irritation in Pinellas, Manatee & Sarasota counties

Red Tide

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The National Weather Service issued a beach hazard statement for several Tampa Bay area counties on Thursday as red tide continues to impact local waterways.

The beach hazard statement issued Thursday morning impacts Pinellas County, coastal Manatee County and coastal Sarasota County. It warns of potential respiratory irritation associated with the bloom.

NWS Tampa Bay warned that symptoms could include coughing, sneezing and tearing eyes. The statement is in effect through Friday evening.

“People with asthma, emphysema or any chronic lung disease may be more sensitive,” the NWS wrote. “Irritation may vary by beach and throughout the day.”

The agency advised moving to a nearby beach if your start experiencing symptoms. You can check beaches online before you head out using Mote Marine Laboratory’s interactive map. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also releases water samples regularly and gives status updates every Wednesday and Friday.

The mid-week update released Wednesday by the FWC said bloom concentrations of K. brevis were found in 27 water samples in Sarasota County, six from Manatee County, three from Hillsborough County, 12 from Pinellas County and seven from Pasco County.

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