This is a copy of the e-mail I sent to anyone I could find who might be able to help me figure out what is wrong with my son...All I have been told by Florida "officials" is that there are no documented long term effects...
My name is Sarah and I live in Arkansas . My family and I visited the Santa Rosa Beach, FL area near the middle of October, 2007. While there, we found out from some of the locals that there was a red tide. We were told that it could make us cough while at the beach but it would go away as soon as we left the beach. Needless to say, we didn't spend much time on the beach. We went there to take family pictures and suffered through the session just long enough to get some beautiful shots.
Anyway, I am just starting to put it all together as I have been trying to figure out why my oldest son, 12 1/2 at the time we were there, has been blowing his nose since October. We just wrote it off to "allergies" at first and then it kept on and on. We started seeing a chiropractor that specializes in allergies near the end of December. We eliminated several foods from his diet and cleaned house completely to eliminate airborne allergens and mold but nothing seems to work. We also saw an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to see if there were any other issues. He does have enlarged adnoids which indicates there is a problem somewhere.
For some reason, today I felt compelled to look up the red tide side effects. I found some interesting information and decided to call the hotline I found at some website I can't seem to find right now. I was very discouraged when I wanted to give my report but the gentleman on the other end was trying to reassure me that there were no reports of any long-term side-effects of the red tide. I became very short with him and said maybe that's because you are not letting me report them and have probably told several others that the same thing and so they hung up. He finally took my name and info and told me it would be passed on to the Florida Health Department.
My son has been blowing his nose since October of 2007. He's 13 years old now and miserable. I don't know if this relates back to the red tide exposure he had last year but it sure seems like it to me. If there are any other people out there that have had the same symptoms and have some miracle remedy, I would love to hear about it. I would also like to see the state of Florida stop downplaying the effects red tide could have on people. Obviously, it kills the fish and other marine life, why would we think it wouldn't be harmful to people. We were glad to have the jelly fish warning flags flying but I think I'd rather he had been stung by a jelly fish than to have what he is going through now.
Please let me know what research is being done on humans and if any changes will be made to warning the tourists of your state. If this does not relate to you, please forward it to someone who might care.
Thank you for listening and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.