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Gulf of Mexico Harmful Algal Bloom Health Information

Effects of Red Tide

coughing, sneezing, itchy throat and tearing, itchy eyes

People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions (such as chronic lung disease or asthma) may be more sensitive.

Respiratory and Eye Irritation: Temporary coughing, sneezing, itchy throat and eyes. Symptoms may be more severe for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma.

What Can You Do:

  • Be aware that bloom impacts may be temporary and not all coastal areas will be affected throughout the region.
  • If you experience uncomfortable symptoms consider leaving the surrounding area in favor of nearby beaches that are not impacted.
  • If you can, plan your trip by checking beach conditions before you go:
    • NOAA's Conditions Reports include Respiratory Irritation Forecasts.
    • Hotels and tourism centers will often have information about which beaches are experiencing impacts and alternate beach options.
  • If necessary, consult your healthcare provider or call the Poison Information Center (1-800-222-1222) for 24 hour assistance from a medical professional.
For More Information:

Toxins in shellfish. (Commercial seafood from local restaurants and seafood markets is safe to eat because it is tested for red tide toxins before it is sold.)

Contaminated Shellfish: Toxins in shellfish. (Commercial seafood from local restaurants and seafood markets is safe to eat because it is tested for red tide toxins before it is sold.)

What Can You Do:

Blooms of red tide can produce a toxin that can affect the central nervous system-potentially causing marine animal deaths.

Animal Illness: Blooms of red tide can produce a toxin that can affect the central nervous system-potentially causing marine animal deaths.

What Can You Do:



Revised: 08/08/2018
NOAA / National Ocean Service
Web site owner: Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services