Local February 15, 2022 | 3:58 pm

How does Sahara Dust affect health?

The presence of Sahara dust in the Dominican Republic can affect the respiratory tract and nasal mucosa. However, the dust from the Sahara that as of this Wednesday will arrive in the Dominican Republic does not represent a danger to health. The concentration of dust that is expected in the next few days will be minimal and should not cause any effect on the population.

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that the danger of this phenomenon “lies in the content of bacteria, viruses, spores, iron, mercury and pesticides in the dust.”

People with respiratory problems or immunosuppression, who are the most vulnerable to covid-19, are usually the most affected.

“Many times cases of persistent ‘flus’ or allergies without apparent cause that may have been caused by contact with particles of biological origin present in these dusts are reported,” says the WHO.

What is recommended?
The ideal is to avoid prolonged exposure to Saharan dust, so the general recommendation is to stay indoors when these clouds are present.

The greatest care should be taken by people who have problems of the COPD group and older adults, pregnant women, and children, say the WHO.

It recommends using face shields, such as masks or a wet cloth handkerchief that completely covers the nose and mouth.

“If there is a sensation of foreign bodies in the eyes, wash with plenty of water. It is preferable to use potable, boiled or chlorinated water. Wash your hands before starting the procedure”.

It is also important to cover water sources (wells, containers, or ponds) to avoid contamination. And dampen the floor before sweeping to prevent dust from being launched back into the air.

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