Health Warnings Over Dust Storms

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Sarah Peddie

Asthma sufferers in South Australia have been told to stay indoors as the state prepares for potentially damaging storms.

A warning has been issued to the residents of South Australia as the dust storms are expected to sweep across the state tomorrow. Winds could get up to 90kph (over 50mph) in some parts of the state.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a long-term disease of the lungs and it can also be referred to as chronic respiratory lung disease. 

It causes your airways to become inflamed and narrow which makes breathing very difficult. The main symptoms are coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2018, one in 10 Australians suffered from asthma which is around 2.5 million people.

Chief medical officer of South Australia Health, Nicola Spurrier, said people with respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should try to stay indoors tomorrow.

She said: "If you are in your car, make sure you have the windows of your car up and consider putting the air on recirculation.

"It's also important if you have a cardiac problem, because sometimes dusty conditions can also trigger a cardiac event."

Emergency services have warned that the winds will create the perfect conditions for a dust storm which means poor visibility when driving.

Authorities have also said that there could be a risk to lives if motorists do not drive to the conditions.

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