Six ways to stay healthy during a dust storm in Qatar

Abdulla Almesleh/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

With strong winds and more swirling dust and sand forecast over the weekend, doctors in Qatar are urging residents to take steps to protect their health.

In a post on Facebook yesterday, Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) said dust particles like the ones floating in Qatar’s air can be particularly harmful to the respiratory system.

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

They could also make things worse for people with sinus allergies and respiratory infections, HMC said.

It added:

“Those most at risk of contracting respiratory infections, including infants and young children, the elderly, people with a history of asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, individuals with heart disease, pregnant women and those who work outdoors, such as construction or delivery workers, are advised to be particularly cautious.”

Advice

To stay safe, HMC offered these tips:

  • Avoid going outside when winds are high or if there is low visibility, which is when dust levels can be particularly harmful.
  • Keep windows and doors closed.
  • When outside, cover nose and mouth with a mask or damp cloth to decrease the amount of dust particles you inhale.
  • When driving, keep car windows closed, and opt for air conditioning instead.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. If possible, use protective eyewear such as airtight goggles. If your eyes become irritated, rinse with water. Be especially careful if you wear contact lenses.
  • Start using antihistamines before symptoms begin if you are prone to bad allergies.

Weather report

According to the Qatar Meteorology Department (MET), windspeeds will hit a peak of 48 knots (89km/hour) inshore today.

This will cause low visibility in most areas due to blowing dust.

Raja Raman/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The wind will gradually start calming down on Saturday, but the all-clear to go into the sea won’t be until at least Monday.

Temps will remain in the low 40s, which is average for this time of year, forecasters added.

How have you been coping with the weather? Thoughts?

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