HAVANA TIMES — Researchers at the Forecast Center of the Meteorology Institute are working to determine to what degree dust from the Sahara Desert is an influence in the increase of bronchial asthma and other acute respiratory ailments of Cubans.
According to the Granma newspaper, the preliminary results of the study — conducted in collaboration with the Meteorological Centre of Pinar del Rio Province — suggest that people over 65 and children from one to four years of age are the most vulnerable.
Every summer, dust clouds generated by sandstorms in the Sahara come to the island. These cross the Atlantic carrying salt, silica, iron, and other minerals, as well as viruses, bacteria, fungi and mites, which are pathogens capable of causing disease.
The principal peaks occur in June and July, while the most affected area in Cuba is the eastern province of Guantanamo, although Villa Clara and Havana have also had significant recordings.