Health warning over Saharan dust cloud smothering the UK

A dust cloud is sweeping from the Sahara across other countries (Picture: Alamy)

People suffering from asthma and other lung conditions have been warned to stay inside while the UK is enveloped by a Saharan dust cloud.

Fine dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa will travel almost 3,100 miles to the UK and will fall from the sky as red dirt from Monday.

Although the phenomenon will bring about some stunning red sunsets, it may also cause health issues for those suffering from lung conditions.

Erika Radford, head of health advice at Asthma + Lung UK, told Metro.co.uk: ‘If the Saharan dust cloud reaches the UK, people with lung conditions should be extra cautious and stay indoors if possible.

‘Fine particles in the air can leave people struggling for breath, and at increased risk of asthma attacks and flare-ups of other lung conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.’

Ms Radford also warned people to keep their inhalers to hand.

‘If you use inhalers for your lung condition, it’s important to take your preventer, or maintenance, inhaler every day, as prescribed, even when well,’ she said. ‘Also, make sure you have your reliever, or rescue, inhaler with you so you can use it promptly if your symptoms get worse.’

The new plume is expected on Monday and will mix with rainfall, bringing all the dust down on top of our homes and cars.

The dust has arrived early this year due to the unusually high temperatures for the time of year, where southern areas could see highs of 14C – well above average for the time of year.

Earlier this week, Nick Finnis, a meteorologist with Netweather, wrote on the service’s blog: ‘The strengthening southerly wind on Sunday ahead of the cold front moving in from the west will also pull north Sahara dust that’s been spilling out of west Africa out across the Atlantic today.

‘The dust load greatest across northern and western areas on Sunday – where the southerly wind will be strongest, before the greatest dust load shifts further south and east on Monday.’


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