DOH Issues Respiratory Alert After Monsterrat Volcano Dome Collapse

Residue from the partially collapsed dome over the crater of Montserrat’s volcano can pose a health risk to persons with allergy and respiratory problems and is urging residents to seek medical care if necessary,  Department of Health Commissioner Vivian Ebbesen-Fludd said today.
Residents should stay indoors and keep windows closed as much as possible, Ebbesen-Fludd explained.
The dome over the crater of the volcano partially collapsed earlier today, spewing ash an estimated 40,000 feet into the sky.
The residue will mostly affect patients with allergies and respiratory problems and individuals can experience symptoms including sneezing, nasal congestion, respiratory problems and itchy eyes.
It can also aggravate patients with emphysema, asthma and other lung disorders, according to Dr. Audria Thomas, DOH Medical Director, who is also an allergy specialist.
Residents should have necessary medication available at all times and should seek medical care if symptoms become a concern, Thomas explained.
“People with respiratory illnesses who must go outside should wear a dust mask,” Thomas said.
 The DOH medical director also advised residents who find it necessary to wash the residue off vehicles, roofs and other areas, to wear long sleeve shirts as the ash can cause skin irritations.