Thunderstorm asthma continues to claim lives
At least 8 people are now believed to have died from the thunderstorm asthma epidemic that hit southern Victoria last Monday. Thousands of people across Melbourne and Geelong were affected, overwhelming emergency services and pushing pharmacies, GP clinics and hospital EDs to their limits. Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who helped treat people during the thunderstorm asthma event last week.
‘Thunderstorm asthma’ is a potent mix of pollen and weather conditions that can trigger severe asthma symptoms. It occurs when a storm strikes on a hot and windy, high pollen day. When rain droplets hit the pollen, the pollen grains absorb the moisture and burst into tiny particles about one-thirtieth of their original size. These particles can then get deep inside the lungs and trigger a serious asthma attack. People who get severe hay fever from pollens during spring are most likely to be affected, even if they do not have pre-existing asthma. Those with poorly controlled pre-existing asthma are most at risk.
Various reviews and enquiries are underway into the thunderstorm asthma event. We will continue to assist the State Government Department of Health and related agencies with this process.
More information about thunderstorm asthma.
Thunderstorm asthma webinar
The Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma will present a special live webinar on Thunderstorm Asthma with Professor Guy Marks this Friday. The seminar will provide insight into what causes thunderstorm asthma and treatment and management strategies to improve patient outcomes. Professor Marks is a respiratory physician and respiratory and environmental epidemiologist. He has pioneered work on measuring quality of life in people with asthma and described the importance of thunderstorm asthma.
Thunderstorm asthma – Professor Guy Marks
8:00am AEDT, Friday 2 December 2016
To register for the webinar, visit the website.