Dead fish wash ashore South Florida beaches, possibly due to red tide

Test results from Deerfield Beach expected later Wednesday

By Ian Margol - Reporter, Glenna Milberg - Reporter

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. - Red tide concerns are spreading from Palm Beach County to Miami-Dade County.

Dead fish have washed up this week on Pompano Beach, Hillsboro Beach and Deerfield Beach. Sky 10 also flew over John D. MacArthur State Park in North Palm Beach, where dead fish lined the sand.

Red tide is a toxic algae bloom that can grow to high concentrations when the right nutrients, salt content and weather conditions come together. 

Dead fish line the sand at John B. MacArthur State Park, Oct. 3, 2018, in North Palm Beach, Florida.

When there is enough of it, the water may change color to a murky brown or red.

It can cause the death of marine life and has been known to cause respiratory problems for humans.

One man who is vacationing on Hillsboro Beach told Local 10 News Wednesday that he thinks he's starting to feel the effects of that.

"Every time that I go to the water, I see something in the air," Moses Ferreira said. "I see that something is right there (and it) makes me cough. Same thing (is) happening with my wife, same thing (is) happening with my daughter, and I was talking to the ladies over there and they're also feeling the same thing."

Doctors confirm red tide can cause respiratory issues for people.

"People may get irritation and burning in their eyes, they may get some tickling or itchiness in their throat, they may cough, they may have some shortness of breath and breathing problems, and might get skin irritation," said Dr. Darren Hoffberger, a pulmonologist. 

Test results from Deerfield Beach are expected to be released later on Wednesday. Results from Fort Lauderdale are expected Thursday.

"This is the most dead animals we've ever seen along this side of the beach," said Audrey Hunt, of Kentucky, who visits Deerfield Beach annually with her family. 

Meanwhile, water samples were taken from four beaches in Miami-Dade County on Tuesday, where some beachgoers have also complained about throat pain and coughing after going into the water.

"We're not going to speculate as to what that was in terms of what was happening. We do know that we don't have any reports and we don't have any confirmation from DERM," Miami Beach Resiliency Chief Susy Torniente said. 

Test results have not yet come back for those areas. 

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