Victoria Department of Health issues stormy epidemic asthma warning statewide

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Victorians are being warned of an increased risk for asthma sufferers in the coming months ahead of the current grass pollen season.

The Department of Health on Saturday issued a moderate risk of stormy asthma for the northern parts of the country, northeast and eastern Gippsland.

Stormy asthma occurs when a rare type of thunderstorm is associated with high levels of pollen in the air.

It poses a very serious risk to asthmatics with symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing when you breathe and a persistent cough.

Experts advise anyone with asthma or breathing to stay indoors during an asthmatic thunderstorm.

In a statement on their website, The Victoria Department of Health has advised people with asthma, urging them to exercise caution this stormy asthma season.

“People with current, past or undiagnosed asthma or hay fever are considered at risk,” the statement said.

“Having both asthma and hay fever or poorly controlled asthma further increases the risk. “

Victorians are being warned of an increased risk for asthmatics in the coming months ahead of the current grass pollen season. Credit: PAA

The health ministry also said people at increased risk should:

  • Avoid exposure to storms that could occur, especially the wind gusts that precede them
  • Have a properly available reliever.
  • Remember their asthma action plan, if they have one, and know the four steps to first aid for asthma
Ten people died during or shortly after the stormy asthma episode in Melbourne on November 21, 2016, and around 14,000 people were also hospitalized.
Ten people died during or shortly after the stormy asthma episode in Melbourne on November 21, 2016, and around 14,000 people were also hospitalized. Credit: 7NEWS

Saturday’s warning comes after concerns that the current stormy asthma season, which ends in December, could see conditions similar to an abnormal weather event in 2016.

The event struck Melbourne in November 2016 and killed 10 people and left 12,000 others in hospital.

Environmental allergist and Deakin University associate professor Cenk Suphioglu believes that higher pollen counts are particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems after contracting COVID-19.

“In 2016, people who had never suffered from traditional asthma before, but were allergic to grass pollens, suffered from stormy asthma,” Associate Professor Suphioglu said earlier this week.

“No one is safe from stormy asthma, and anyone with a history of grass pollen allergy as well as asthma or breathing problems should stay indoors if an asthma event occurs. stormy occurs. “


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