Florida officials are now testing for red tide in New Smyrna Beach

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After a dead dolphin washed ashore in New Smyrna Beach, officials are testing it for red tide poisoning, the Daytona News-Journal reports.

Last week, state officials reportedly found traces of red tide in the nearby Indian River Lagoon system, though it's still unclear whether red tide is to blame for the dolphin's death. Testing for the algae begins today.

The presence of Karenia brevis algae, otherwise known as toxic algae or red tide, was confirmed in the area last week by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Low amounts were reportedly found at the time.




Wildlife officials also told the News-Journal that fish kills were reported along Volusia County beaches, as well as in at least a dozen more of the state's counties in the past week. So far, no citizens have reported respiratory irritation, a common human side effect of red tide, such as was reported in Brevard and Indian River counties over the summer.

It's the latest potential case of the red tide crisis as the bloom has migrated across Florida's coast by way of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, with southwest and northwest Florida taking the hardest hit so far.

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