Health May 13, 2024 | 9:17 am

Ministry alerts public to Saharan dust arrival and health risks

Santo Domingo.- The Ministry of Public Health issued a warning urging the public to take precautions against respiratory issues as Saharan dust is expected to reach the area starting this weekend.

Emphasizing the importance of preventive measures, particularly for individuals with asthma, allergies, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia, and other respiratory conditions, the ministry explained that the phenomenon of Saharan dust is a regular occurrence preceding the cyclone season. This event leads to the formation of dust clouds, creating a simultaneously dry and humid atmosphere that heightens the risk of respiratory ailments, allergic reactions, and other health concerns.

Annually, typically between May and August, the dense cloud of Saharan dust descends upon the region, prompting heightened vigilance among those already susceptible to respiratory issues. Special attention is advised for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, infants, pregnant and postpartum women, immunocompromised individuals, and other at-risk populations, as outlined in a press release by the Ministry of Public Health. Moreover, the ministry cautioned that the particles carried by the dust may cause temporary eye irritation.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Health highlighted the concurrent occurrence of Saharan dust and recent rainfall across the national territory, posing an additional risk for outbreaks of diseases like dengue, leptospirosis, and acute diarrheal illnesses. To mitigate these risks, the ministry recommended staying hydrated, wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing, using damp cloths to clean surfaces, and minimizing exposure to sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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