Jamaicans Urged To Limit Dust Exposure As Saharan Dust Blankets The Caribbean

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is encouraging the populace to take measures to limit the effects of Saharan dust, which is expected to continue affecting the island until Thursday.

An enormous cloud of Sahara dust which experts say hasn’t been witnessed in half a century is currently blanketing the Caribbean.

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the mass of extremely dry and dusty air known as the Saharan Air Layer forms over the Sahara Desert and moves across the North Atlantic every three to five days from late spring to early fall, peaking in late June to mid-August.


Dust oftentimes contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are tiny enough to make their way deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems.

Excess exposure to the dust particles can have severe health effects, including increased risk of respiratory and related illness, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and respiratory infection and allergies, the ministry said.

The ministry said members of the public and particularly persons who are already experiencing or are prone to respiratory illnesses, should exercise great care, by observing the following precautions:

– Staying indoors as much as possible

– Wearing face masks

– Wearing long sleeve clothing and protect eyes

– Washing hands regularly and avoid touching of eyes


– Ensuring water that is harvested is treated

– Covering water used for domestic purposes including drinking and food preparation.

Screenshot via YouTube

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