Health Warnings Issued as Sahara Dust Cloud Arrives in Mexico, US

June 29, 2020

A massive dust cloud that originated in Africa’s Sahara desert has arrived in the coastal towns and beach resorts of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

The Sahara dust cloud traveled three thousands of kilometers from North Africa before reaching the Caribbean and now Mexico.

Antonio Ladino, a researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Atmospheric Sciences Center is urging people to wear face masks to prevent nose and throat irritations. He also said high concentrations of dust ingested can be very dangerous.

Weather experts say the heavy dust will hover over Mexico and the southeastern United States, including Florida until the middle of next week.

The presence of the dust cloud in Florida could be especially problematic because the state is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. People with preexisting conditions, who are already urged to restrict travel because of the coronavirus, are encouraged to avoid outdoor activities when the dust turns the skies hazy.

Health authorities say the dust can be especially harmful to people with respiratory and heart illnesses.

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