Ministry of Health warns: Take precautions against Saharan dust
The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service issued a statement indicating that a “thick plume of Saharan Dust reached the southern Caribbean islands on Saturday 16th March 2019.”
The Ministry of Health (MoH) advises that Saharan dust may contain various particles which can produce symptoms such as:
- a dry cough
- sore throat
- itchy, watery eyes
- runny nose
The MoH said high levels of Saharan dust may exacerbate illness in persons at high risk of respiratory complications including:
- persons with pre-existing lung such as asthma disease
- persons with pre-existing heart disease
- the elderly
Those with pre-existing conditions should stay indoors, when possible, and should have their rescue inhaler with them at all times.
While persons may experience symptoms during the days of a Sahara dust event, these symptoms should disappear as the dust levels reduce.
Affected persons should seek medical attention if they experience severe shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), persistent fever (for more than 2-3 days) or a severe worsening of a pre-existing condition.
The MoH reassures the population that all public health facilities remain prepared to manage persons presenting with respiratory symptoms arising from increased levels of Saharan dust.