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Nation IN BRIEF / TEXAS

Spreading Red Tide Killing Fish, Oysters

September 26, 2000|From Times Wire Reports

A bloom of toxic red tide algae is spreading along the Texas Gulf Coast, shutting down some oyster fishing and killing millions of fish whose rotting remains are fouling beaches. State environmental officials say it's the largest concentration of red tide since 1986, when more than 22 million fish died in four months. . High concentrations of the algae called red tide produce a toxin that kills fish by affecting the central nervous system. For humans eating contaminated fish or shellfish, the toxin can cause numbness, dizziness, nausea, fever and muscle paralysis.

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