Local June 25, 2020 | 3:56 pm

The consequences of Sahara dust on health in times of COVID-19

The concentration of the Sahara powder could cause respiratory problems, rhinitis or allergy in the eyes. (PHOTO: DIARIO LIBRE / MARVIN DEL CID)

  • The pulmonologist David Mejía, explains that this phenomenon harms more patients with respiratory problems or chronic obstructions

 

An opaque and grayish sky due to concentrations of dust from the Sahara, was perceived this Monday in Greater Santo Domingo and other cities in the country, whose weather pattern will persist this Tuesday, according to the report issued by the National Meteorological Office (Onamet) .

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting the country, people are trying more than ever to protect their airways, however, these phenomena are counterproductive to health.

According to pulmonologist David Mejía , these dust particles affect more patients with respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructions , which are diseases caused by smoking or wood smoke.

While in others who do not have respiratory problems, it could cause rhinitis, an allergy to the eyes or skin conditions, explains the health specialist.

Regarding the symptoms that this concentration of dust would trigger in some, the expert warns that it could be somewhat similar to those of COVID-19, but at the same time clarifies that it is easy to differentiate.

“If any patient does rhinitis, when you make the inflammation you can perceive that you have irritation, nasal congestion, or feel anosmia (loss of smell), not as such, but a slight decrease that the inflammation could happen,” Mejía pointed out.

The concentration of the Sahara powder could cause respiratory problems, rhinitis or allergy in the eyes.
The concentration of the Sahara powder could cause respiratory problems, rhinitis, or allergy in the eyes.  )

 

Expert recommendations

These days, regardless of whether you have a respiratory condition or not, specialists recommend that, due to the arrival of the vast and dense dust cloud of the Sahara, do not leave, if not necessary.

They recommend staying home, as people may start to feel tight chest, sore throat, burning eyes, and shortness of breath.