Algae Blooms Are Making People Sick In Parts Of Florida

Algae blooms that have been making people sick have spread to Martin and St. Lucie Counties in Florida, according to WPTV.

TCPalm reports that officials in both Martin and St. Lucie County have appealed to Florida Department of Environmental Regulation to test the water, determine what type of algae is in it, and see if it’s related to blue green algae linked to Lake Okeechobee’s freshwater discharges.

Tourism could be affected by the algae blooms.

Nerissa Okiye, who is the Marketing and Tourism Director for Martin County, told WPTV that she has been fielding questions from people who had placed trips to Martin County before the algae blooms began.

She told WPTV that “When they’re seeing this, it puts a hesitancy. Do I want to go there?”

The algae has been known to cause rashes and hay fever like symptoms in people that it has come in contact with, and nausea and vomiting in people who ingest it.

In the meantime, signs have been put up advising people not to approach the algae, and affected beaches have put up red flags as to advise swimmers.

Martin County Health Department spokesperson Renay Rouse told WPTV that “It is unusual…As a precaution we wanted to get the signage out there. The big message is if you see algae avoid contact with it.”

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Cover Photo Credit: Brian Goodwin/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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