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Beware of Sahara Dust surge impacting local air quality– DDM

Beware of Sahara Dust surge impacting local air quality– DDM

With a fresh surge of Saharan dust currently hovering over the territory, the Virgin Islands (VI) Department of Disaster Management (DDM) has issued a warning to persons with respiratory illnesses such as Asthma, to beware of the conditions.

According to the Department in a release today, Saturday, October 9, 2021, the worst conditions are expected between this afternoon into tomorrow Sunday.

Persons with raspatory illnesses at high risk


The DDM says the alert level is currently at two with an Air Quality Index of 40 to 70; meaning that people with respiratory issues or heart disease including the elderly and children are most a risk.

“Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion,” the DDM warned.

Persons are being advised to limit exposure in areas where dust concentration is high and to wear masks to prevent dust from entering their system. The wearing of protective eyewear and surgical masks including N95, P95 and P99 is being encouraged.

The DDM further said, “The conditions of the constant dusty flow can cause allergic reactions like itchy & watery eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, dry cough, post-nasal drainage and sneezing. 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.

DDM says the wearing of protective eyewear and surgical masks including N95, P95 and P99 is being encouraged. P


Health remedies


For persons who suffer from sore throats, the department said in addition to medication if the case is severe, using two teaspoons of honey can aid in the soothing of your throat.

“Remaining hydrated is also important. Using fresh aloe gel, mixed with fresh citrus juice provides for a great dust remedy. The anti-inflammatory agents can soothe irritation in the throat and nose, especially if you’ve been coughing,” the DDM recommended.

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