SARASOTA, Fla. — Red tide is lingering around in Tampa Bay area waters down to Sarasota, according to the latest report released Friday.
Red tide is a harmful algal bloom that can last as little as a few weeks or longer than a year. Lately, it's subsided and then reoccurred.
Over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to medium concentrations in Pinellas County, background to low concentrations offshore of Hillsborough County, background to medium concentrations in Manatee County, and background to medium concentrations in and offshore of Sarasota County.
The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County issued a health alert Thursday for red tide detected near some beaches.
The beaches with elevated levels of red tide include Bird Key/Ringling Causeway, North Lido, Lido Casino, South Lido and Siesta Key.
The red tide organism produces toxic chemicals that can impact both marine organisms and humans, causing respiratory irritation. Reports of fish kill and respiratory irritation suspected to be linked to red tide were received over the past week in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
If you'd like to report a fish kill online, click here.
Health and wildlife officials warn against swimming in or around red tide due to the toxin's ability to cause skin irritation, rashes burning and sore eyes. Pet owners should take the same precaution with their animals as well.