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DEERFIELD BEACH (CBSMiami) — For people along the beach walkway in Deerfield Beach, the red tide impact is obvious.
Beachgoers have noticed the sniffles, coughs, sneezes and sore throats.
The same story is being told pretty much from the Broward-Dade line up through Palm Beach County.
“Every breath and a half I just let out a cough,” said Lenny Katz. “A dry cough.”
“It is clearly red tide,” added Carol Kleinberg. “I did not expect it on this side [of the state].”
Deerfield Beach officials have been waiting for the results of testing for several days.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has yet to release those results, but officials expect something by Friday.
In a release sent out late Thursday afternoon, Broward County acknowledged the existence of red tide symptoms while the county waits for official test results.
“While analyses are still pending in Broward County, several recent reports of respiratory discomfort by beach visitors in Broward County suggest that the K. Brevis organism is also present in coastal waters of Broward County, likely at similar concentrations.”
To read the full release, click here.
Beaches are not yet officially closed in Broward, as individual cities are waiting for test results.
The Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Dean Trantalis held a press conference Thursday.
He explained the city’s position on beach closure. Here are some highlights of the mayor’s press conference.
“We are seeing conditions that leads us and the Fish and Wildlife Commission to believe the red tide algae is present off the waters of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Red tide has already been detected in both Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, in low and moderate levels, to our north and to our south.
“As a result of what we are witnessing, we are working closely with Broward County and the State of Florida. Monitoring and water testing will regularly take place along the Broward County coastline which will allow us to track changes in water conditions.
“Fort Lauderdale Beach and other beaches in Broward County are open. Beachgoers are advised to follow posted flags and signage.”
The mayor urges citizens to help provide information, such as fish kills.
Anyone with information is asked to call 954-828-4597.
In Palm Beach County, all county managed beaches have been closed.
Scientists say the wave action can break open red tide cells and release toxins into the air, leading to the respiratory issues people are experiencing.
For those with respirator conditions, the red tide toxins can be a major health issue.
Dr. Larry Brand is with the Resenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami.
“Toxins get in the air, throat, nose, ears and so on,” said Dr. Larry Brand. “If you have asthma or any other pre-existing condition, you can end up in the hospital. If you look at the hospital records over on the west coast, you have a fifth percent increase of people going to the hospital with respirator stress.”
More from Dr. Brand can be seen below:
The red tide impact is riding the Atlantic currents southbound now, stretching into Miami-Dade County.
To escape any potential health issues, Dr. Brand says to stay “at least a mile inland, but I have been getting email from people five miles in, telling me they are getting sick.”