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Here's what you need to know if you catch yourself coughing on the beach

FWC reports red tide is present on some Pinellas County beaches and people are reporting respiratory issues.

INDIAN SHORES, Fla. — Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is set to release a new red tide report this evening detailing current beach conditions. 

The last report shows there are medium concentrations of Karenia Brevis cells at some Pinellas County beaches. Those beaches include Redington Beach, Indian Shores Beach and Pass-A-Grille.

Karenia Brevis is the organism responsible for red tide. It produces a toxin, called brevetoxin, which acts as a neurotoxin. When Karenia Brevis cells break apart at the sea surface layer, the toxin can attach to sea salt particles and blow onshore. 

The aerosolized toxins can cause respiratory irritation, like coughing and can be detected as far as 10 miles inland, according to Mote Marine.

The Florida Department of Health recommends people leave the beach if they are experiencing respiratory irritation. Construction workers in Indian Shores said last week they didn't have any respiratory issues, but this week they have been coughing.

The Florida Department of Health stated, "symptoms from breathing red tide toxins usually include coughing, sneezing, and teary eyes. For most people, symptoms are temporary when red tide toxins are in the air. Wearing a particle filter mask may lessen the effects, and research shows that using over-the-counter antihistamines may decrease your symptoms." 

For more information on how red tide can impact your health, visit the health department's website. To check beach conditions, visit Mote Marine's daily reports.

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