People with asthma and other respiratory or cardiac conditions are advised that today’s expected high winds and the potential for raised dust could exacerbate their conditions.
SA Health’s chief medical officer and chief public health officer, Professor Paddy Phillips, is recommending people with pre-existing respiratory or cardiac conditions stay indoors and follow their personal management plans.
“We have received advice this afternoon from the Bureau of Meteorology of expected high winds,” Professor Phillips said.
“If there is an associated dust storm with these winds, people with pre-existing illnesses such as asthma and respiratory problems may have their symptoms aggravated.
“We advise those people to avoid exposure to dust, stay indoors, take medication as usual and avoid exercise in areas of high dust.
“While everyone may feel discomfort during dust storms, the people who need to be most alert to these weather conditions are those with pre-existing conditions.”
Bureau of Meteorology supervising meteorologist Matt Collopy, said a combination of dry conditions and a vigorous front have the potential to produce raised dust over parts of the state.
“This July is the driest for South Australia since 1999 and that’s resulted in low soil moisture levels across the state,” Mr Collopy said.
“A vigorous cold front moving over the state from Thursday afternoon will produce strong and gusty northerly winds, mainly impacting the western parts of the state, but could also potentially impact Adelaide.”
Health impacts of dust can vary, and may cause irritation to the eyes, nose and skin, which can be alleviated by washing the area well with water.
For more susceptible people, it can cause a range of issues including difficulty in breathing.
People with asthma should have an asthma action plan and follow it at all times.
Additionally, people with asthma should carry their reliever medication at all times, even when they are feeling well.
Anyone requiring urgent medical attention is encouraged to ring Triple Zero (000).
For more information, go to www.sahealth.sa.gov.au.