Red tide found at popular Tampa Bay area beaches during Christmas weekend

Red tide remains along metro coast
Posted at 11:33 PM, Dec 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-27 03:57:34-05

Officials at the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission are reporting high levels of red tide around parts of Pinellas and other counties around the metro.

The latest report shows red tide, an algae that emits toxins, in parts of St. Pete, Madeira and other beaches around Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties. 

Symptoms from exposure include skin irritations, burning eyes and trouble breathing.

Researchers found high levels of the algae around E. Maritana Dr. in St. Pete Beach and medium levels around Johns Pass. 

State officials say people can still swim in water with red tide, but should avoid any areas with fish kill.

Despite the circumstance, Timothy Bosh, who works at Eagle Parasail at John's Pass says it hasn't kept tourists away, despite the smell which he compares to dead fish.

"It's either the cold weather or red tide," he said. 

State health officials suggest people experiencing symptoms related to exposure to remain indoors with air conditioning. 

They also suggest people without chronic breathing problems or asthma take an over-the-counter antihistamine to alleviate any symptoms.


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