Harmattan is a cool dry wind that blows from the northeast or east in the Western Sahara and is strongest from late November to mid-March. It usually carries large amounts of dust, which it can transport hundreds of miles out over the Atlantic Ocean. The harmattan season comes with cold, dry dusty wind and fluctuations in morning and night temperatures. It lowers humidity, prevents rainfall and creates big clouds of dust which can result in sand storms, poor visibility and affects movement in some climes and in the aviation industry.
Health Effects Of Harmattan On Humans
- The lowering of water in the atmosphere to as low as 15% sometimes results in nosebleeds for some people.
- Dryness of skin, chapped lips and other skin conditions usually increases at this time.
- Asthma patients may have their respiratory conditions aggravated.
- Viral diseases of the upper respiratory system are very rampart such as coughing, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat etc.
- The dry dusty air can lead to cardiovascular diseases or worsen existing conditions.
- Sickle cell anemia can also be triggered by the cold and dusty season in affected individuals.
- Because it is a cold period with dry and harsh weather with dust particles suspended in the air carrying various germs, the tendency to pick up ailments like bronchitis and pneumonia is very high.
What To Do
To sail through the harmattan season it’s important to look out for yourself. You can do this by;
- Ensuring you take lots of fruits and vegetables with Vitamin C to help boost your immunity and protect you from infection.
- Wearing nose mask when out & about in town to prevent inhaling the dust.
- Increasing your fluid intake especially warm liquids.
- If you must go outside, dress in warm clothes. Wear layers of clothes because they work better than a single thick item because air is trapped in them, thereby keeping you warm.
- Keeping a lip balm in your pocket, car & handbag for constant applications will keep chapped dry lips to the barest minimum.
- Eating hot food is great for cold weather. It warms you up and fills your stomach, also ensuring that bacteria & virus do not thrive in your belly.
The harmattan is a natural phenomenon that we have to contend with, follow the suggestions above to cope better with the cold, dry & dusty season. Ensure you use Sudrex Cold & Cough to get fast relieve.
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