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Tips on staying Healthy when Red Tide is Present

By Patti Roberts

December 15, 2015

December 11, 2015


Contact: Communications Office


Tallahassee, Fla.The Florida Department of Health encourages residents and visitors to continue enjoying activities along the coast, and to stay informed about the current red tide blooms. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast predicts concentrations of red tide will increase throughout the week along portions of northwest Florida. There is currently elevated potential for respiratory irritation in Walton, Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties.

The department encourages everyone to consider these tips to stay safe while enjoying Florida 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.

There are many resources available for additional information on red tide:

For updated red tide status reports, to track blooms or learn more about red tide, visit

For more information on red tide and beach safety, please visit: Florida Department of Health:

To access the Mote Marine Laboratory's beach conditions report visit

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

About the Florida Department of Health

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida

Department of Health please visit