Black cloud season sees rise in health problems

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Nuage noir sur lÂ’Egypte

Feu de paille de riz en Egypte en 2009 © AFP PHOTO/CRIS BOURONCLE

Every year a noxious black smog hangs over Egypt as the seasonal burning of rice straw by farmers begins, and with it comes a surge in allergic reactions and lung infections.

The inky haze lasts from October to November; it is a time when hospitals see a rise in patient numbers, and parents consider keeping their children out of school to avoid the worst of the throat-burning smog.

IRIN

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