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Health Experts: Drought Poses Health Risks


Dry conditions are linked to more frequent and severe dust storms and wildfires.

Dr. Linda Rudolph from the non-profit Public Health Institute says the associated particulate matter is bad news for people with lung problems and heart disease.

"There might be an increased risk of pneumonia for people who are exposed to a lot of dust. In fact in the dust bowl in the 30’s, there were hundreds to thousands of deaths from what people called ‘dust pneumonia.'"

~Dr. Linda Rudolph, Public Health Institute

Rudolph says drought can dry up well water and increase water contamination in areas already struggling to get access to clean water.

She also says drought affects agricultural production, which rolls into problems with food prices and unemployment.

And those circumstances add more obstacles to staying healthy.

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