There are miles of dead fish washing up on the beach. That's not all. Just breathing the air can be harmful.
Observation by Jill Brubaker:
Visiting with my dad in Fort Meyers area and we decided to go for a walk on Barefoot Beach. There was a lot of destruction from the hurricane but the most alarming thing was the miles of dead fish washing up on the beach from a harmful algae bloom. The air quality in the area was so bad we began to cough. We don't think it was from the dead fish but rather from the algae bloom itself. I have never witnessed anything like this before. We both had to stop walking because we were coughing so much.
LEO Network Comment:
There is a health alert issued for coastal Collier County and people have been advised to close their windows and run air conditioners. Walking the beach and swimming in local waters is not advised, in particular for people with respiratory health issues. See full alert language in the weblink to the Florida Department of Health.
According to the CDC, (see weblink) brevetoxin is often produced during these events. Breathing in sea spray or getting water containing brevetoxin on your skin can cause symptoms including:
- respiratory irritation (coughing, sneezing)
- shortness of breath
- throat irritation
- eye irritation
- skin irritation
- asthma attacks
See satellite images attached for images of the area waters over the past few weeks.