Sahara Dust is here

This is the time of the year when the dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa blows east all the way to the Caribbean. The skies become a hazy blueish gray and people are reminded hot summer days are coming.

This 2024, the Sahara Dust is making its way to the Caribbean despite the unusually wet April and May. The dust usually blows during the first two and a half months of the hurricane season that officially begins in June. Reports are that the Sahara Dust is early this year.

On the positive, the dust cloud known officially as the Saharan Air Layer brings nutrients for soils and is generally good for agriculture.

On the negative side, those who suffer from respiratory problems and allergies may need to stay indoors where air conditioning can filter the air and keep a stash of meds, just in case of a flare-up of their condition.

The Ministry of Public Health is recommending people to be aware and take preventive measures. “It is usual every year, mainly between May and August, for the dense cloud of Saharan dust to be felt. Therefore, people who already have respiratory conditions or illnesses must protect themselves more to avoid complications. Greater care is also urged with the elderly, infants, pregnant women and women who have recently given birth, immuno-suppressed patients and other risk groups,” states the Ministry of Public Health in a press release.

The Ministry of Public Health note says that the particles contained in the dust can cause momentary and temporary irritation in the eyes and people should avoid touching their eyes.

Read more:
Ministry of Public Health
El Dia
Diario Libre
Caribbean Public Health

13 May 2024