Sahara desert dust will hit Florida and could cause COVID-19-like symptoms
- People exposed to Saharan dust may experience respiratory problems with symptoms similar to COVID-19, experts say
- The distinct difference between allergies and COVID-19 is fever
- Experts recommend wearing face masks and staying at home to reduce the risk of dust exposure
As winds carry dust from the Sahara Desert to Florida, people may find it difficult to distinguish allergies and COVID-19 by their symptoms when the dust cloud arrives this Wednesday.
For some, the Saharan dust brings beautiful sunsets and a hazy orange sky. For others, however, the annual dust means a lot of sneezing and breathing problems. The symptoms of the breathing problems it causes could mimic those of COVID-19, experts say, Fox 35 Orlando reported.
Richard Broyles of the Baptist Health System said one way to tell if the symptoms are caused by something else is to check for a fever.
âA lot of the symptoms are similar, such as coughing, wheezing, chest congestion, and flu-like aches. But one sign that it’s not just allergies is fever,â Broyles said. “Allergies don’t cause a fever, but COVID-19 can do it because it’s a virus. So watch your temperature and seek treatment if your temperature rises.”
He added that people exposed to dust may experience chest tightness and increased coughing.
Dr Herman Gaztambide, pulmonologist at Orlando Health, echoed Broyles’ statement.
“When you have a COVID-19 infection, it is an active infection, so you must have a fever, which is very different from allergies which would give you almost all other symptoms, but allergies cannot. never give you a fever, âWESH said. the doctor as saying.
Other symptoms that could signal a COVID-19 infection include headache, diarrhea, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, and nausea.
Exposure to Saharan dust can worsen the damage COVID-19 left in the lungs of survivors, according to Gaztambide, so it’s best to take precautions as soon as the dust hits Florida on Wednesday.
âThese patients carry some level of damage to their lungs with them and this dust storm could very well exacerbate their symptoms,â he said.
To help avoid breathing problems, experts recommend the following:
- Wear a face mask to avoid inhaling dust in the air
- For asthmatics, use an inhaler for breathing difficulties
- Take over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications
- As a general rule, avoid going outside to reduce the risk of exposure to dust and other irritants.
Last summer, winds carried nearly 24 tons of dust from the Sahara Desert. The 2020 dust storm, dubbed Godzilla, was so huge that astronauts were able to see it from space.