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African Dust Causing Discomfort for Valley Allergy Sufferers

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McAllen - African dust is affecting the air quality here in the Valley. 

This past week you might have noticed a slight haze in the sky, it's this haze which is causing problems for those with asthma and allergies. 

"It's been really bad especially since it's really hot I feel like I don't have any air in my lungs and I'm always running for my medicine," said Edyberto Sanchez, a resident out of McAllen.  

Sanchez suffers from allergies, he says at times it can be difficult being outside, "When there is a lot of dust outside i feel like it's really hard to breath." 

Sanchez isn't alone, allergist Dr. William McKenna says recently some of his patience were also noticing discomfort. 

"A lot of people asked me if allergy worst this summer then other summers and I tell them no it's not," said Dr. McKenna.

The culprit can be linked to dust from Africa.

"African dust is basically a strong dust build up from the winds of the Saharan desert in north west Africa," said Dr. McKenna.  

The dust travels across the Atlantic and ends up here in the Valley. 

This phenomenon typically happens during the summer months and can cause discomfort for people even with minor allergies. 

Dr. McKenna recommends people like Sanchez to limit their time outside, "If you have a lot of problems you could wear some protection, a mask , a scarf, handkerchief or something and hold it over your nose and mouth area like a filtration device." 

Dr. McKenna says the amount of time the African dust affects the Valley varies from a couple days to a couple weeks. 

He Also adds, one thing which can help improve air quality in general is rain.

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