Florida issues health alert over toxic algae called ‘red tide’ that causes irritation and cough

(Just in time for spring break. Guess I’ll put my Speedo back in the drawer – DD)

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(UK Dialy Mail) Florida officials are warning that an incoming ‘red tide’ of algae dead fish may leave beachgoers ill this spring break.

Red tide occurs when the algae multiply quickly, causing a harmful algal bloom (HAB). The red tide organism Karenia brevis produces toxins that can kill marine life and birds.

Gulf coast-area residents are not strangers to red tide, but it is striking earlier than usual this year. The red wave that paints coastal waters is expected to occur in late summer and fall, yet state health officials are sounding the alarm now.

While exposure in humans won’t prove fatal, it can ruin a day at the beach. When the single-celled organism Karenia brevis blooms, inhaled toxins can cause respiratory irritation, coughing, sneezing, itchy throat, and eye irritation.

Florida does not typically close beaches due to red tide, but officials discourage swimming when there is an advisory in place, as there is now…

Florida issues health alert over toxic algae called ‘red tide’ that causes irritation and cough | Daily Mail Online