Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Health has advised citizens to take measures to protect themselves from the ill effects of Saharan dust.
The Saint Lucia Meteorological Services has informed the Ministry of Health and Wellness of the passage of the Saharan dust over Saint Lucia.
Medical Officer of Health, Doctor Glensford Joseph, says this explains the increasing dust observed in the environment.
He has warned that Saharan dust could pose some health problems for persons with significant illness.
“Persons with dust allergies can experience worsening of their symptoms with itching of the eyes, nose and throat,” Joseph observed.
At the same time, he explained that persons with respiratory illnesses like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can have increasing frequency and severity of cough, chest tightness and difficulty breathing.
According to the Medical Officer of Health, these symptoms may be severe enough to increase the number of visits to the healthcare facilities.
He noted that persons un-diagnosed with respiratory illnesses like asthma may now develop symptoms.
“We should take protective measures like avoiding unnecessary and strenuous outdoor activities over the next few days,” Joseph advised.
“Always have a supply of your allergy and asthma medication at hand, and if your symptoms are worsening, do see your doctor or go to the respiratory clinics established across the island,” he stated.
Joseph said in the context of COVID-19, the Ministry encourages the public to continue practicing the protocols of cough etiquette, wearing of masks, hand hygiene and, and physical distancing as Saint Lucia tries to limit or prevent the spread of the virus.
“The Ministry of Health and Wellness encourages all to stay safe at this time,” the Medical Officer of Health said.