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CPS Calls on the Community to Take Action on Harmful Effects of Saharan Dust.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) stated that the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in a recent bulletin stated that it is highly likely that particulate matter levels will be above the 24-hour outdoor air quality guidelines as established by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) of Sint Maarten is therefore urging persons to protect themselves against the adverse health effects of a Saharan dust plume.

CPS encourages residents and visitors with respiratory issues to monitor daily weather reports from the Sint Maarten Meteorological Department (MDS) by visiting their website meteosxm.com or their Facebook Page facebook.com/sxmweather which can provide more information on when a Saharan dust plume would affect the country.

Saharan dust can be hazardous, especially to small children, older adults, and people with underlying lung conditions and chronic heart diseases.

Saharan dust can also impact the health of persons who suffer with asthma, allergies, and with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (persons with breathing difficulties, wheezing).
Measures that can be taken are: Stay indoors as much as possible and when outdoors, wear a dust mask (eg. KN95)
• Utilise a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing) air filter indoors to purify air in individual rooms
• Persons who use medications for pulmonary conditions should carry them at all times and use as prescribed
• At the first sign of difficulty while breathing, seek professional medical advice immediately
• For less severe symptoms, standard allergy medications such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays may alleviate symptoms, check with your pharmacists or physician.

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