HealthDay News — Red tide may be the reason why some beachgoers on Florida’s Atlantic coast have suffered breathing problems, according to Palm Beach County officials.
The officials said preliminary water tests found the algae that causes red tide, but further testing is needed to determine its concentrations, CBS News/Associated Press reported.
Red tide is a harmful algal bloom that occurs “when colonies of algae grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds,” according to the National Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Red tide has caused a massive die-off of fish and other sea life on Florida’s Gulf Coast this summer. Red tide can cause symptoms such as breathing problems and skin irritation in some people, CBS/AP reported.
“Throat irritation is a pretty classic one. People talk about the red tide tickle, sort of a scratchiness or soreness in the throat as well as a cough,” said Acey Albert, MD, a board certified internist and pediatrician in Palm Beach, Florida. People who develop symptoms should leave the beach and find someplace cool.