Qatar- Avoid direct exposure to cold and dust: Official

Qatar- Avoid direct exposure to cold and dust: Official

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As the country is experiencing cold and windy weather, a senior health official has advised the public — especially asthma patients and those suffering from chronic lung diseases as well as the elderly — to avoid direct exposure to dust and cold weather conditions.

Deputy Chair at Emergency Services of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Dr. Warda Al Saad, has advised the masses to take precautionary measures to avoid health risks that may result from dusty and cold weather conditions, while stressing that people who take the flu vaccine are more protected from the seasonal flu.

The weather forecast for today (Sunday) by the Qatar Metrology Department has not issued any warning but predicted a cold night and moderate temperature during the day.

Speaking to The Peninsula yesterday, Dr. Al Saad said that dust and fine airborne solid particles can enter airways and lungs, causing some health risks, such as infections, sinusitis and respiratory allergies, and can also trigger allergies and cause asthma exacerbation.

Dr. Al Saad urged people to wash the face, nose and mouth repeatedly to prevent dust from reaching the lungs, and to wear a protective mask to cover the nose and mouth. She highlighted the importance of frequently replacing the masks and avoiding rubbing one’s eyes to avoid inflammation.

She stressed the need to start using preventive prescribed drugs for people vulnerable to severe allergic diseases, even before symptoms of allergies appear, and called for people who have recently undergone eye or nose surgeries to avoid exposure to dust. ‘Those with history of allergic rhinitis, sinusitis and severe asthma should take the preventive medicine which is prescribed by their attending physician, she said.

Dr. Al Saad stressed that if people experience any symptoms of respiratory sensitivity caused by the dusty weather like persistent cough or breathing difficulties they should go to the nearest health centre or the emergency department.

According to Dr. Al Saad, when emergency medical team (nurses and physician) receives asthmatic patient showing difficulty in breathing, they give them priority for treatment and start patient on bronchodilator nebulizer and oxygen and anti allergic medications and they observe their health condition for improvement or need of further management.

Dr. Al Saad also highlighted that during this time of the year and the prevailing weather conditions many people are likely to have seasonal flu and those who got the flu vaccine will be more protected.

To ensure as many people as possible are vaccinated this year, the Ministry of Public Health, HMC, and the Primary Health Care Corporation have again joined forces to ensure members of the public can get the influenza vaccine for free at all health centrrs across the country, and over 40 private clinics.

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