One person has died and more than 5,000 people have been admitted to hospitals with breathing problems in Iraq after a seventh severe dust storm in a month.

A health ministry spokesman said 2,000 of the cases of “suffocation” had been reported in Baghdad province.

He advised people with asthma and other chronic diseases to stay indoors.

Dust storms are common in Iraq, but some experts believe they are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

Another storm on Sunday left dozens of people with breathing difficulties and grounded flights at airports serving Baghdad and the Shia holy city of Najaf.

Health ministry spokesman Saif al-Badr said on Thursday that all of Iraq’s medical facilities were on alert and that the number of people admitted with respiratory problems was “not final.

Most of those affected had chronic diseases like asthma or were elderly, and the majority were discharged after receiving oxygen and other treatments, he added.

Credit: BBC

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