DDM warns residents to brace for fresh wave of Saharan dust
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is urging residents to brace for a fresh surge of Saharan dust over the territory and warns that the threat of health problems is elevated for the next few days heading into the weekend.
In an weather advisory on Wednesday, the DDM warned that people unusually sensitive to dust particles must remain extra vigilant during this period; especially those with respiratory issues such as asthma.
The DDM also advised that people with heart problems, the elderly and children are also at risk.
“Limit prolonged outdoor exertion,” the BVI warned. “During dust events where concentrations are high, people are advised to limit dust entering their system as best as possible through the use of masks and protective eyewear. Any mask that filters small particles should be like a surgical mask, N95, P95, P99,” Disaster Management further advised.
The DDM also noted the conditions of the dusty flow can cause allergic reactions such as itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, dry cough, post-nasal drainage, and sneezing.
According to the department, for those that suffer from congestion, dry cough, and sneezing, doctors recommend creating a more humid environment through a humidifier or inhaling steam as you lean over a container of hot water, taking slow and deep breaths.
“For those that suffer from sore throats, in addition to medication if the case is severe, using two teaspoons of honey can aid in the soothing of your throat,” the DDM added.
People are also advised that remaining hydrated is also important. The use of fresh aloe gel mixed with fresh citrus juice is also said to provide a great remedy for the dust.
This is because the anti-inflammatory agents found in both products can soothe irritation in the throat and nose, especially if persons have been coughing a lot.
Saharan dust is a mixture of sand and dust from the Sahara, the vast desert area covering most of North Africa. Once it is lifted from the ground by strong winds, clouds of dust can reach very high altitudes and be transported worldwide, covering thousands of miles.
Saharan dust activity typically ramps in mid-June, peaks between late June and mid-August, and then quickly subsides after mid-August.