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Coughing at a Pinellas County beach? Red tide could be why

Medium to low levels of red tide were also detected in Hillsborough and Manatee County.

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla — Red tide has been detected along Pinellas County's coast, with a cluster of the organism surrounding St. Pete Beach.

According to Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's mid-week update, medium levels of the red tide organism were detected north of Redington Beach, while medium to low levels were discovered in the southern part of St. Pete Beach. 

Medium to low levels were also detected in Hillsborough and Manatee County.

RELATED: Red tide detected in areas near Piney Point

Fish kills caused by red tide were also reported in Manatee and Pinellas counties. People in Pinellas County said they were coughing on the beach in Redington Shores. At this time, respiratory irritation has only been reported in Pinellas County.

When dead fish are along the shoreline, people can experience respiratory issues like coughing. If you have a respiratory illness, it is best to avoid areas where red tide has been detected. 

FWC says fish are dying because of a bloom that was first spotted in Lee County. Because of the direction of the wind, the red tide bloom is moving north.

For people planning to go to the beach this weekend, it's likely red tide will stick around. FWC says their latest report is predicted to be three to four days out. 

How long the bloom will stick around can't be determined accurately. But, state officials are working with the University of South Florida and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to look at larger scale oceanographic currents that will give them an idea of where the bloom may travel.

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