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No-swim advisory in place for Longboat Key

Red tide causes bacteria levels to increase.

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  • | 4:04 p.m. September 20, 2018
  • Longboat Key
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Sarasota County health officials have issued a no-swim advisory for Longboat Key Thursday after tests showed the amount of enterococcus bacteria in the water was outside acceptable limits.

County officials said the cause of the higher level of bacteria is likely due to natural sources. A wrack line of decaying algae, as well as numerous dead and decaying fish associated with red tide were spotted among the rocks and along the shoreline.

While beaches remain open, local health officials urged people not to wade, swim, or engage in water recreation until the ban is lifted. People are also urged not to eat shellfish, such as crabs and shrimp, collected from an area where there is a no-swim advisory.

Enterococcus bacteria can come from a variety of natural and human-made sources. People who are young, elderly, or have a weak immune system who swallow water while swimming can get stomach or intestinal illnesses. If the contaminated water comes in contact with a cut or sore, people may get infections and rashes, health officials said.

The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County expects to have the next round of tests available on Friday, Sept. 21.


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