Dire warning to asthma sufferers as dust cloud sweeps across Australia

Dire warning to asthma sufferers as dust cloud sweeps across Australia

South Australians with asthma, other respiratory or cardiac problems are advised to stay inside while strong winds and dust may continue to cause discomfort.

Health warnings were issued by SA Health yesterday in anticipation of strong northerly winds raising levels of dust across South Australia.

Winds greater than 30km/hour can stir up and carry dust particles, creating a dust storm, which can be aggravate symptoms for those who have pre-existing respiratory or heart-related problems, according to SA Health.

"There are large areas of the state that are very dry, and that could potentially produce fairly widespread areas of dust," supervising meteorologist Matt Collopy said on Wednesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) have issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds in some parts of SA throughout the night.

According to the BoM, winds across parts of the Flinders and Mid North districts could average 50 to 70km/hour, with gusts of 80 to 100km/hour.

Port Augusta, Clare, Hawker, Jamestown, Burra and Peterborough may still experience dust and reduced visibility until the early evening.

Winds have eased in parts of the state with the BoM cancelling the severe weather warning in Adelaide Metropolitan, Mount Lofty Ranges, West Coast, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Eastern Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Murraylands, Upper South East, Lower South East and North West Pastoral districts.

However, the dust is expected to settle as a band of showers moves across the state on Thursday night and into the early hours of Friday morning.

The official advice for people with respiratory or cardiac conditions is to stay indoors to avoid exposure to dust.

SA Health acting chief medical officer Nicola Spurrier said the dust could cause flare-ups in people with cardiac problems or respiratory conditions such as asthma.

"We're recommending to people to really try and stay out of the dust," she said.

"That's staying inside their house with the windows up as much as possible, particularly these vulnerable groups."

Dr Spurrier said people with diagnosed conditions should ensure they follow their management plans.

With AAP

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