Take the Necessary Precautions to Protect Yourself and Your Family against Saharan Dust

Home*Cover Story*News

Take the Necessary Precautions to Protect Yourself and Your Family against Saharan Dust

The Ministry of Health notes Saharan dust may contain various particles which can decrease the quality of air and may cause symptoms such as:

  • a dry cough
    ·         sore throat
    ·         itchy, watery eyes
    ·         sneezing
    ·         runny nose

High levels of Saharan dust may also exacerbate illness in persons at high risk of respiratory complications including:

  •  persons with pre-existing lung conditions such as asthma and or bronchitis,
  •  persons with pre-existing heart disease,
  •  the elderly, and
  •  children.

What can you do?

  1. Vulnerable individuals may choose to stay indoors where appropriate to minimize the effects.
  2. Partake in less strenuous outdoor activity e.g. walking instead of running.
  3. Those with pre-existing conditions are advised to ensure that their rescue inhaler is with them at all times.
  4. Wear a mask where appropriate.

While persons may experience symptoms during the days of a Sahara dust event, these symptoms should decrease as the dust levels reduce. Persons who experience severe shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), persistent fever (for more than 2-3 days) or a severe worsening of a pre-existing condition should seek urgent medical attention.

The Ministry of Health will continue to provide updates to the public as necessary.

n a statement issued on January 31, 2024, the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service indicated the highest concentration of Saharan Dust is expected from January 31, 2024 to February 3, 2024.

Additionally, readings taken at the EMA’s Monitoring Stations at 9:00 am on January 1, 2024 stated that the increase in Particulate Matter, which is attributed to Saharan dust, has registered as unhealthy on the Air Quality Index , with the Particulate Matter levels ranging between 152-156