PARTS of East Wales including Gwent have been hit by high levels of pollution caused by dust blown from the Sahara and prevailing winds.

People suffering the effects of high levels of the smog - including sore eyes, coughs and sore throats - have been advised to cut down the amount of activity they take outside.

The high pollution levels have been caused by a combination of light south-easterly winds, the continental air flow and dust which has blown up from the Sahara desert.

Asthmatics might need to use their blue reliever inhalers more often as they could be prone to attacks today and over the next few days. Other people with lung and heart problems, and those who are older, should also avoid strenuous exercise or activity.

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan Health Board said they aware that there has been a "slight increase" in the admissions of patients at the Royal Gwent Hospital with exacerbations in respiratory problems over the last 72 hours.

He said it was not possible to say whether these cases are definitely as a result of air pollution from Saharan dust.

He added “Public Health Wales has advised that the majority of people will not be affected by the levels of air pollution and should not be alarmed.”