Red tide is continuing to raise concerns in the panhandle.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s most recent report said portions of Bay County are up to medium concentrations of the red tide causing organism, K.brevis.
Some vacationers said it was starting to bother them when they were on the beach over the weekend.
“We were coughing when we got down to the beach, and everybody else around us was doing the same thing,” Michael Teems said.
Other beach-goers said they can smell the stench of dead fish as soon as they get close to the sand.
Red tide has made its way to Bay County in low to medium concentrations, which has caused hundreds of fish to wash up on shore.
Tourist Development Council President, Dan Rowe, said their hired contractors, “Coastal Parasail,” worked morning and night to clean up the sea life from the beaches.
“What we’re doing now is we’re also grooming the beach every single day just to make sure that the fish that wash ashore — we’re able to get them up and off the sand as quickly as possible,” he said.
But Department of Health Environmental Supervisor, Joe Scully, said dead fish aren’t the only problems red tide causes.
He explained that the algae bloom can cause coughing, sneezing and itchy throats.
“If you do have any of those symptoms, leave the area,” he said. “If you do happen to go out swimming in it, then wash yourself off when you get out of the water, and of course seek medical attention if the symptoms persist.”
But business owners and visitors in Panama City Beach said they are not going to let ride tide stop them.
“Didn’t seem to affect business in anyway, they could just smell it,” Pineapple Willy’s Manager, Jeremy Evans, said.
Scully said the red tide has no affect on local seafood restaurants, and that FWC is closely monitoring all shellfish areas.
FWC will release a new red tide report on Wednesday.