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Windy weekend poses health risks at Stagecoach

By Natalie Brunell, KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 Reporter, Natalie.Brunell@kesq.com
Published On: Apr 26 2014 01:51:35 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 26 2014 01:54:51 AM CDT

Windy weekend poses health risks at Stagecoach. Natalie Brunell reports.

INDIO, Calif. -

As storm clouds rolled into the valley, so did carloads of festival goers ready for a weekend of country music and possibly some extreme weather.

"I heard tomorrow's going to be the biggest wind storm ever and I have my bandana ready," said Jacob Gray of Huntington Beach.

"I think it's definitely going to affect people, definitely the campers, I feel sorry for them," said Dominic Veloz of Indio.

With stronger winds expected this weekend than last, Stagecoach attendees arrived armed with the necessities.

"Bandanas, sunglasses, just cover your face as much as possible," said David Harris of Huntington Beach.

"Something to cover your face, you don't want to be breathing in all that dust," Veloz said.

And it's the dust that poses some serious health risks. Many Coachella attendees felt flu-like symptoms coming on after last weekend's dusty conditions, coining the term "Cough-chella."

"After last week at Coachella, I've been coughing nonstop this week," Gray said.

"Everybody gets a cough we had a cough for a few days right now I think we all feel a lot better," Harris said.

But the gritty gusts can have lingering effects for some. According to the National Institutes of Health, dust particles in the wind can lead to serious respiratory issues, including asthma attacks and valley fever, a flu-like condition that causes fever, coughing and muscle aches.

Doctors recommend covering your nose and mouth, staying hydrated and using anti-histamines if you're allergy-prone. Most festival goers we met are taking these health warnings in stride and aren't worried about catching "Stage-cough."

"You just have to go out there and do it, the cough isn't awful. You're going to get a cough, it's like a cold but just do it," Harris said.

"I mean you can just use like Purell or wash your hands frequently, I think we're past the flu season and everything," said Nicole Brooker of Indio.

"If you have to be sick for a couple of days it's ok, because you'll have the best weekends of your life," said Jeff Widerkehr of Huntington Beach.