Red Tide contines to impact Northwest Florida

Special to The Log
Red Tide continues to impact Northwest Florida.

The Florida Department of Health encourages residents and visitors to stay informed about current red tide blooms.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast predicts concentrations of red tide will increase throughout the week along portions of Northwest Florida, according to a press release.

There is currently elevated potential for respiratory irritation in Walton, Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties.

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides show western movement of bloom waters along Escambia and Santa Rosa counties and eastern movement of bloom waters along Gulf and Bay counties in Northwest Florida.

The department encourages everyone to consider these tips to stay safe while enjoying the beaches:

— In a red tide area, people can experience varying degrees of eye, nose and throat irritation. When a person leaves an area with a red tide, symptoms typically go away.

— People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic lung disease, are cautioned to avoid areas with active red tides.

— While swimming is safe for most people, red tide has the potential to cause some people skin irritation.

— In some red tides, dead fish wash ashore. It is advised that beachgoers avoid swimming in water where dead fish are present.

— If a pet swims in a red tide patch at the beach, rinse off its fur and paws as soon as possible with fresh water. Also, do not let pets eat fish or drink water from the red tide.

For updated red tide status reports, to track blooms or learn more about red tide, visit MyFWC.com/RedTide.

For more information on red tide and beach safety visit Florida Department of Health: http://www.myfloridaeh.com/medicine/aquatic/index.html.

To access the Mote Marine Laboratory's beach conditions report visit www.mote.org/beaches.

To report illnesses from exposure to red tide, call the Florida Poison Information Center at 1-800-222-1222.