Health alert issued for Lighthouse Beach Park
Today, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County notified the public of a red tide bloom near Lighthouse Beach Park on Sanibel.
Some people may have mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms, such as eye, nose and throat irritation similar to cold symptoms. Some individuals with breathing problems, such as asthma, might experience more severe symptoms.
The symptoms usually go away when a person leaves the area or goes indoors. Health officials recommend that people experiencing these symptoms stay away from beach areas or go into an air-conditioned space. If symptoms do not subside, contact your health care provider for evaluation.
The department recommends that the public:
– Do not swim around dead fish at this location.
– If you have chronic respiratory problems, be careful and consider staying away from this location as red tide can affect your breathing.
– Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish from this location. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.
– Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam and dead sea life.
– Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications).
– If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.
Florida Poison Control Centers have a toll-free 24/7 Hotline for reporting of illnesses, including health effects from exposure to red tide at 1-888-232-8635.
In addition, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County rescinded a prior health alert for a red tide bloom near South Seas Plantation Beach Access on Dec. 14. It noted that the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Website reported that red tide is not present or at background levels.
For additional information on the locations where red tide has been found, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research website at myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/.