Harmattan and its diseases

With the harmattan around now, I am worried about taking ill. Kindly let me know how to handle the likely diseases that usually come with the harmattan.

Idayat (by E-mail)


Harmattan in Nigeria is characterised by dry, cold weather, low humidity, very cold mornings and evenings. The season usually triggers some unpleasant infections and diseases. The dusty haze that comes with harmattan results in the deterioration of air quality which can aggravate the respiratory system. This along with the cold weather can lead to asthma or bronchitis attack. Bronchitis is what you get when there is an inflammation and swelling of the lining of the bronchial tubes (these are the major air passages that go from the trachea (the windpipe) into the lungs). To reduce your chances of getting these attacks, wear a mask over your nose when you have to leave your house. Avoid close contact with people who have a cold or the flu, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. The dryness and low humidity that comes with the harmattan period increases the spread of infections or diseases like a cold. Symptoms include cough, catarrh, sore throat and runny nose. To prevent or cope with a cold, you need to stay warm by wearing appropriate clothing. Boost your immune system by taking lots of fruits and vegetables with Vitamin C. It is also advisable to increase your fluid intake and drink warm water, tea, and other hot beverages.

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