The following message was sent to the university community on Thursday, October 4.
This morning, Miami-Dade County officials closed beaches north of the Haulover inlet after confirming the presence of red tide in ocean waters.
Currently, red tide has not posed a threat to FIU. However, it may impact the Biscayne Bay Campus. In the event that red tide is confirmed in a body of water on or near FIU, we will place signs directing the public to stay out of the water.
Red tide poses a health threat because it produces toxic chemicals that can affect both marine organisms and humans. Some people may experience respiratory irritation, such as coughing, sneezing, tearing, shortness of breath, and an itchy throat, as well as skin and eye irritation.
The health of our students, faculty and staff is a top priority. FIU colleges, schools and units across the university have been proactive about raising awareness about red tide.
With red tide impacting much of South Florida, we would like to share the following information.
- If you have severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as emphysema or asthma, please avoid red tide areas.
- If you experience symptoms, leave the area and seek clean fresh air, such as within an air-conditioned building. Over-the-counter antihistamines may also relieve symptoms.
- If any respiratory symptoms persist, please seek medical attention from your medical provider or contact FIU Health at 305-348-3627(DOCS).
- Avoid entering bodies of water that look discolored, have foam, scum, contain or are near dead fish or other dead animals. Do not enter a body of water if dead fish have washed up on its shore or beach.
- Follow guidance from local officials. Boiling water does not remove toxins and can increase the amount of toxin in the water by concentrating it. Be aware of advisories and health risks related to consuming contaminated fish and shellfish.
For additional red tide guidance, please visit http://go.fiu.edu/redtide.
General questions may also be directed to FIU Chemistry and Biochemistry professor Dr. Kathleen Rein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information or to check the status of red tide in your area, please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)’s Red Tide Current Status.