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High concentration of red tide measured off Pinellas County coastline, FWC says

A high concentration of the harmful bloom was reported near Redington Beach, with a medium concentration near Clearwater Beach.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Water samples taken off the Pinellas County coastline in recent days indicate the red tide nuisance isn't getting any better.

One sample indicates the problem may be worsening.

That's near Redington Beach, where a high concentration of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, has been reported in the past week, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

A new water sample returned a medium concentration near Clearwater Beach, FWC's latest report shows. Similar conditions were reported recently just south near Sand Key Park.  

At high concentrations, even the general public may experience intense symptoms of respiratory irritations -- not just those who are sensitive to red tide or would otherwise experience mild symptoms, NOAA says.

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County said red tide could cause some to develop eye, nose and throat irritation while at area beaches. To help clear that up, the agency says it's best to head indoors or stay away from the beach altogether.

Some dead fish are likely to wash ashore, too, and there have been reports in Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties lately, according to the FWC.

Crews from Pinellas County's cleanup contractor, DRC Emergency Services, helped to pick up dead fish Wednesday in Maderia Beach, the county said. Officials say they expect this ongoing red tide bloom to drift northward in the coming days.

RELATED: How to check for red tide in your area

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