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Red tide lurking along shores of Collier County

NAPLES, Fla.- A relentless bloom of red tide is worsening in Collier County with more dead fish visible along the shores and more beachgoers complaining of respiratory issues.

“You’re coughing actually, you could feel it when the waves break,” said Mike Frisha who refused to let the red tide keep him from the beach. “We usually come down for six months and the last month and a half has been terrible weather wise.”

Yet Frisha and his wife, like most people sunbathing near the Naples Pier, decided to stick it out.

“It gets in your throat and you hear everyone on the beach coughing,” Frisha said.

The red tide, an algae bloom, is sitting right off shore. The latest samplings from Florida Fish and Wildlife officials show medium levels of red tide are present all the way down to Marco Island.

“It is safe for people to swim, however, we do recommend that if you’re going to swim, once you get out, immediately rinse off in fresh water,” said Jaime Cook with the Florida Department of Health in Collier County.

Those respiratory illnesses should stay away, or bring their medication to the beach with them because the red tide will exacerbate the issues, health officials said.

Asthma, bronchitis, COPD, things like that,” Cook said.

Parents and grandparents should also make sure young children keep their head above the water and that they don’t swallow it.

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