Respiratory irritation reported in Pinellas from red tide

- Red tide is continuing to wreak havoc from Manatee County south and there are new signs it could be inching closer to Pinellas County.

RELATED: RED TIDE FAQ

According to the newest report from Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, dead fish have been found in multiple locations across Pinellas County. There’s also been at least one case of respiratory irritation reported in Pass-A-Grille.

Beach-goers said they were concerned with what this means for the beach in the days ahead.

“I was really scared about coming here," Priscilla Leon said. "I called the hotel and made sure they didn’t baby any. I wanted to make sure it was all clear before we came because I was hesitant.”

Leon and her friend Christian Dimarzio traveled from Orlando to Pass-A-Grille Wednesday, both nervous red tide may have made its way there.

“I am concerned about it coming up here," Christian Dimarzio said. "Before we came over to this beach, I looked into it because I heard it was coming up the west coast and we almost went to He east coast instead, but we called around and it looked like it was fine.”

According to a newly released map from Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, low, medium, and high concentrations of red tide have been detected along Florida’s west coast. In Pinellas County, officials are reporting red tide at low concentrations in four samples collected this week.

Also, this week there’s been at least one case of respiratory irritation reported in Pass-A-Grille.

“I haven’t been bothered down here or even where there are dead fish," Paul Fehlig said. "It hasn’t bothered my respiratory system.”

Leon knows firsthand the impact, after coming into contact with red tide last year.

“It bothered my throat for at least a few days," Leon said. "So I didn’t want to experience that again. It was just sore for a few days and I was like coughing and it was just really irritating.”

Red tide can cause symptom like a scratchy throat or ichy eyes. If you’re experiencing symptoms that you think may have been caused by red tide, be sure consult a doctor and also be sure and report it to the FWC.

Health officials in Pinellas County say they continue to monitor the conditions at the county parks along the Gulf in Tampa Bay and so far have observed one dead fish and slight odor, they said.

LINK: Head to the FWC website to monitor the red tide status: http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

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