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Red tide is back in Pinellas County — and worse in Sarasota, Manatee

The worst outbreak of red tide in weeks is being reported along much of the Gulf Coast.

Red tide is back on beaches in Pinellas County — and getting worse in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

State environmental officials on Wednesday said low amounts of red tide are now being found along beaches in Redington Shores, Treasure Island and Fort De Soto, as well as in Boca Ciega Bay.

In Manatee County, medium amounts of the toxin are present at Anna Maria Island, Longboat Pass and Palma Sola Bay.

High amounts are being found at Bay Dock in Sarasota Bay, Nokomis Beach and Service Club Park, south of Venice.

Medium levels are present at Lido Beach, Siesta Beach and Venice Beach.

Over the past week, reports of fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were received from Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Respiratory irritation was also reported in Pinellas County (Boca Ciega Bay, Pass-a-Grille, Treasure Island Beach), Manatee County (Anna Maria Island Rod & Reel Pier, Anna Maria Beach, Coquina Beach, Longboat Key Beach, Manatee Beach) and Sarasota County (Caspersen Beach, Englewood Beach, Humphries Park, Lido Key Beach, Longboat Key, Manasota Key, Manasota Key Beach, Nokomis Beach, Siesta Key Beach, South Brohard Park, Turtle Beach, Venice Beach, Venice Fishing Pier, and Venice North Jetty Beach).

Forecasts by the University of South Florida-Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Prediction of Red Tides predict red tide will continue to get worse in the area because of winds from the south blowing the toxins northward.