Cuban experts are analysing possible links between the dust blowing in from the Sahara desert and the high incidence of respiratory diseases and bronchial asthma in the island.
Eugenio Mojena, from the Satellite Section at the Forecast Centre of the Cuban Institute of Meteorology (FCCIM), told Granma newspaper that large clouds of dust particles arrive on this island from the African continent every year.
Those particles are moved westward by the flow of trade winds, crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
The maximum frequency of the Sahara dust clouds occurs from May to August, but they may also blow in June and July, weather experts at the FCCIM said.
The phenomenon has been systematically observed in Havana City since the early 1970s, through photos taken from satellites.
At present, there is a joint research project between the FCCIM and the Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology of the Public Health Ministry (MINSAP), to establish links, if any, between the dust clouds and the recurrence of respiratory diseases in the country.