Saharan dust could worsen individual COVID-19 cases

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RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – Saharan dust can make for some pretty sunrises and sunsets, but can also cause allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions to flare up. The dust could make for a dangerous scenario for anyone with COVID-19. Mississippi is expected to experience another wave of the dust this week.

Dr. Timothy Quinn said the Saharan dust could be a COVID-19 patient’s worst nightmare.

“If you have that same individual and they’re exposed to the Saharan dust,” Dr. Quinn said. “That could make it even worse causing theme to be even more sick getting more lung complications including pneumonia, or even in some cases they could lose their life.”

Some people who have had coronavirus experience it with minimal symptoms and get over it like it was a nasty cold, but for some people with respiratory problems like Monica Trader, it could be a much harder battle if she were to contract it. Saharan dust can worsen those conditions.

“I haven’t had a flare up in a long time,” Trader said. “But when I do have a flare up I have pressure on the chest, coughing, runny nose, sneezing.”

Trader said that despite the higher risk, she is still confident she will be spared from COVID-19 because of her responsible practices like social distancing and wearing a mask in public.

“I value my health and the health of others over having a good time,” Trader said.

Dr. Quinn said that although it may be tempting to go for a jog or get on a boat this weekend, it may be safest to sit it out.

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