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To the editor:

Red tide causes neurotoxic air discharges that can affect those who inhale the air near the waters. Bronchial distress is the difficulty red tide causes the airways. It is still not safe to go into the water in most of Lee County. The beaches are closed, fish kills and red tide blooms have been reported up Collier and Lee. We have a problem.

Please consider continuing for an extra month not spraying lawn fertilizer. The red tide blooms are encouraged by this run off fertilizer. The Army Corp of Engineers will still dump run off on us. Our water ways are now polluted with Ian damage. Doubling up with red tide pollution is dangerous. The state has not cleared the toxins and ruined boats out of the water yet. Meanwhile Lake O. toxic discharges will continue down the Caloosahatchee and we can expect the reaction to the fouling of the river to exacerbate and prolong the red tide emergency.

Respiratory infections among children are filling the northern states’ hospitals with non-fatal viral infections, and 75% of those children that require hospitalization are unvaccinated for flu, and COVID. We know that there can be more than one illness infecting the lungs at the same time. Red tide, COVID and the flu is worse than a single factor alone. We do not know what effect the red tide discharge plumes will have yet. Clean water is the best way to avoid the red tide respiratory and brain damage.

Urge your local state and county representative to stop taking money from the sugar industry to protect Florida’s future from agricultural waste. But there exists now an effective flu and COVID vaccine available to us. Please consider vaccinating your children before the holidays. Check with their doctor. Please listen to your children’s pediatrician.

Ellen Starbird

Cape Coral


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