Sahara Dust Plume sends clouds of concerns for those recovering from Covid-19


NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO)- Whirling winds are sweeping across the world, bringing a substantial storm. Making its trek thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean, the Saharan Dust Plume in heading toward the Gulf Coast.

Every year, we experience dust plumes carried in by trade-winds but, this one is a little different than normal.

“Its very unusual for a large quantity of dust to make it this far in the winds coming off the Sahara but, that’s what’s being predicted,” warned Dr. John Calson, Associate Professor of Allergy and Immunology at Tulane Medical.

Reaching the Caribbean Wednesday, the Saharan Dust Plume brought historical amounts of dust, and now severe dust warnings are being issued.

Tonight through Saturday, the Gulf Coast will see reminisce of the dust plume.

“I’m worried that people will be out and about. Spending time out doors and breathe in these particles that will cause lung damages and the particles will settle deep inside the lungs,” said Dr. Carlson.

The Sahara Dust is expected to bring vibrant sunrises and sunsets but, it brings health concerns, too.

“Lungs don’t heal up after injury to particles. It’s the additive effect that we most worry about,” shared Dr. Carlson. “So, if you have C.O.P.D. or asthma, it’s already impairing your ability to withstand damage done by the particles those additive effects make me really worried.”

Those recovering from Covid-19 are at even higher risk.

“Absolutely. Covid-19 causes lung injury. There are a lot of people that are healing up from injury that has already be caused by COVID-19,” stressed Dr. Carlson. “And, there are others yet to be infected because there is ongoing infection that we haven’t really haven’t been able to get down in the last few days. So, layering on top the injury that comes from Covid-19 with the injury that comes from these dust particles is very concerning.”

When the dust reaches us, “The strong recommendation is to stay in doors as much as possible.”

If you are out-and-about, its imperative to wear a mask.

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