Red Tide sending more people to the doctor

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SARASOTA- The smell of red tide isn’t staying at the beach anymore, and as the Red Tide stench travels farther from the beach so do the respiratory irritants.

“It’s a sad situation when patients are having trouble even far from the beach.” Allergist Dr. Roger Danziger said.

Red Tide symptoms aren’t limited to those with respiratory illness.

“There’s some people who usually go down to the beach and get that immediate cough and nasal sinus trouble,” Dr. Danziger said. “But sometimes it kind of snowballs and people can have delayed reactions.”

But Dr. Danziger says for those with nasal-sinus disease, the symptoms are exacerbated.

“And often throws them into sinus infections,” Dr. Danizger said. “Actually asthma patients it can make their asthma quite severe even when they’re well controlled.”

Dr. Danziger says patients keep calling to say they’re getting sicker, and ask what can be done… the answer is not much.

“A lot of my tougher patients I’ll actually tell them to stay indoors, keep their air conditioning running,” Dr. Danziger said. “The trouble is outdoor air ultimately becomes indoor air, but the less exposure the better.”

Unfortunately even medical masks won’t protect those with the most severe symptoms.

“I think probably the only thing that could make a difference is some of those super-duper respirator masks,” Dr. Danziger said. “And sadly, I sometimes joke and say a spacesuit would be effective, but obviously not practical at all.”

So until there is a practical solution, Dr. Danziger says stay indoors and away from the beach.

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Samantha Sonner
Multimedia Journalist Samantha Sonner comes to the Suncoast from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a reporter and host for KRWG TV/FM reporting on local politics, immigration, and border issues. Samantha grew up on Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she worked at WAER, the campus NPR station and interned at television stations in Central New York. Samantha is excited for the Florida Sunshine, and to be living so close to fantastic beaches. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for story updates and news, or to send her story tips and ideas. You can also email her at samantha.sonner@snntv.com.

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