From St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston
Meteorologists are predicting beautiful sunrises and sunsets starting tomorrow, as Saharan dust completes a transatlantic journey and descends on our area, but St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston is asking residents to be cautious of potential lung impairments that can result from the microscopic dust.
Saharan sand dust regularly visits the United States this time of year, but with heightened risk of lung infections overlapping the COVID-19 pandemic, Preston said people should be particularly cautious of yet another invisible threat to respiratory health.
"People with underlying health conditions like asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema or COPD should enjoy the enhanced sunset views from indoors with filtered air, or while wearing a protective mask, if outdoors," Preston said. "Like the flower of foxglove, which contains digitalis, these sunsets can be beautiful but deadly."
For a recent article about the Saharan dust phenomenon and local impacts, click HERE.
"For those most susceptible patients, at the first sign of respiratory distress they should seek treatment from a qualified health care provider to mitigate the risks of serious heath consequence," Preston said . "Prevention is the best medicine , but early intervention in symptomatic patients can be lifesaving."