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Saharan dust sweeping over South Florida affecting allergies, temps

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Posted at 5:42 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 13:56:40-04

Dust from northern Africa is sweeping across South Florida, leaving many concerned about how it’s affecting allergies.

Medical experts say those who already suffer from seasonal allergies will likely experience the usual runny nose, sore throat and itchy eyes.

However, according to the medical director of emergency services at HCA Florida JFK North Hospital, the uptick in dust is also creating a rise in temperatures, which can lead to dehydration and heat stroke.

“I think it can affect everyone, it’s not just people who have COPD or asthma or some type of lung or heart condition, it can be anyone,” said Dr. Steven Keehn. “But the bigger issue really is because of this dust, it causes higher temperatures and anyone, whether you have respiratory problems or not, you can get dehydrated, you can get heat exhaustion, you can get heat stroke.”

In addition to keeping your allergy medicine on hand, Keehn says it’s important to stay hydrated and use a HEPA air filter to help beat the heat and the dust.