Health department warns of red tide at Navarre Beach

Northwest Florida
Health department warns of red tide at Navarre Beach

NAVARRE BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The Florida Department of Health says red tide was detected in Santa Rosa County.

Low levels of the algal bloom that cause red tide were found at the Navarre Beach Pier, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The health department is reminding beach visitors of possible side effects from being exposed.

Symptoms from breathing in red tide includes watery eyes, coughing and sneezing, according to the health department.

Some Navarre residents say they notice a difference.

“The last 15 to 20 days, allergies in our whole house have gone through the roof,” said one Navarre resident. “Coughing, choking. Kids sound like they’ve got the flu. It’s not. They’re not sick. There’s no temperature. There’s nothing. It’s just whatever’s going on down here.”

Denise Botta was visiting Navarre Beach Thursday from Pittsburg, Pa. with her sister, Karen Gibbons.

“When I saw the signs, she said that just means you can’t go in the water,” Botta said. “But, I was reading them and I was like, ‘I think it means a lot more than that.’”

The health department says for most people, symptoms from breathing in red tide are temporary. Gibbons said she didn’t want to take any chances with her husband.

“I don’t want to take my husband out the car because he has breathing problems to start,” she said. “Sometimes he requires oxygen so yes, I’m a little concerned.”

The health department says if you experience symptoms from breathing in red tide, leave the beach immediately.

“She keeps saying, ‘do you want to stop at the beach?’” Botta said. “I’m like, “whatever beach I can breathe in, I’ll stop at that beach.’”

The health department will continue to monitor Navarre Beach and other areas around the Gulf Coast for red tide.

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