Health alert issued for access to South Seas beaches | News, Sports, Jobs – SANIBEL-CAPTIVA


Today, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County notified the public of a red tide near the South Seas Plantation beach access on Captiva.

Some people may experience mild, short-lived respiratory symptoms, such as eye, nose, and throat irritation similar to cold symptoms. Some people with breathing problems, such as asthma, may have more severe symptoms.

Symptoms usually disappear when a person leaves the area or goes inside. Health officials recommend people with these symptoms stay away from beaches or go to an air-conditioned space. If symptoms do not go away, contact your health care provider for an evaluation.

The ministry recommends that the public:

– Do not swim around dead fish in this area.

– If you have chronic respiratory problems, be careful and remember to stay away from this place because the red tide can affect your breathing.

– Do not harvest or eat distressed or dead shellfish and fish in this area. If the fish is healthy, rinse the fillets with tap or bottled water and discard the entrails.

– Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam and dead marine life.

– Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (ensuring that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer specifications).

– If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.

Florida Poison Centers has a toll-free 24/7 hotline for reporting illnesses, including health effects from red tide exposure at 1-888-232-8635.

For more information on where red tide has been found, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research website at


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