Red tide caused Florida illnesses

Last year several cases of respiratory illness in northeastern Florida were due to a "red tide" caused by a toxic marine organism, Reuters reported health officials as saying.

The harmful algal bloom organism, Karenia brevis, is known to produce neurotoxins. Some scientists have linked red tides to coastal water pollution and rising sea water temperatures.

The illnesses involved 20 workers at a beach restoration worksite. Symptoms included coughing and throat irritation.

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