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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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FLORIDA HEALTH ADVISES CAUTION WHEN RED TIDE IS PRESENT

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The Florida Department of Health in Bay is reminding residents and visitors to use caution when on the beach or in waters with high concentrations of red tide. Protect your family and pets by staying away from affected areas until the blooms move further offshore or they go away.  Red tide is a naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840s and occurs nearly every year. Because the blooms are patchy, other local beaches may be okay to visit.

DRAIN standing water: • Drain water from garbage cans, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected. • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used. • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week. • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water. • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

COVER your skin with: • CLOTHING - If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves. • REPELLENT - Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.

COVER doors and windows with screens: • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.

Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites: • Clean out troughs and gutters; • Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain; • Turn over or remove empty plastic pots; • Pick up all beverage containers and cups; • Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water; • Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week; • Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week; and • Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.

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