According to DDM, forecasters of the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Service have indicated a second surge in Saharan Dust is likely to affect the Eastern Caribbean as another plume is expected to move into the area later today or Friday. These conditions may affect the Virgin Islands beginning Friday into the weekend.
Following the first surge, Chief Environmental Health Officer, Mr. Lionel Michael said that the air quality index has fluctuated to unhealthy levels for everyone as a result of the particulate matters associated with the dust.
Mr. Michael explained that the reduction in the air quality has significantly elevated the risks of health problems, especially to sensitive and vulnerable groups of people such as seniors, children, persons with heart disease and persons with respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
The Public Health Division is warning that the dust cloud may also cause increased aggravation of heart or lung disease or premature death in persons with cardiopulmonary disease.
Active adults, children and people with heart or respiratory diseases should limit time outdoors, or avoid any outdoor activity with prolonged exertion at this time. Windows and doors should be kept closed as much as possible and face masks worn to filter out particles.
Persons with medical conditions who are experiencing difficulties breathing are asked to consult their physician.