List of ways to stay healthy when Saharan dust cloud enters Houston

Elissa Rivas Image
Friday, June 26, 2020
How to stay healthy when Saharan dust cloud enters Houston
How to stay healthy when Saharan dust cloud enters Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As if our hospitals are not busy enough with the COVID-19 pandemic, Houston is about to have one more respiratory problem to handle, Saharan dust.

Dr. David Corry of the Baylor College of Medicine said it's a familiar pattern.

"Whenever the Sahara desert dust comes to Texas, we always see a spike in visits to our emergency rooms and even to our intensive care units," Corry said.

He added that it's only a serious problem for patients who already suffer from chronic lung diseases like asthma and emphysema.

However, it can also affect healthy individuals and allergy sufferers. The massive dust cloud travels thousands of miles across the Atlantic.

"Many patients are aware that there is a problem, even if they're not aware that it's Saharan dust," Corry said. "They tell us 'You know this was just not a good weekend, or these last few days have been terrible and I don't know why. I just feel terrible and my breathing is awful.'"

Here's what Dr. Corry suggested you do to stay healthy while the Saharan dust blows through our area:

  • Stay indoors, if possible
  • Change clothes and shower when you come inside
  • Refill and stay updated on your prescribed medications for respiratory conditions, i.e. inhalers
  • Install a HEPA filter at home
  • Wear mask and goggles

Dr. Corry said the mask you're wearing for the purpose of the COVID-19 pandemic, could also help block the Saharan dust.


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