The world’s largest and most catastrophic epidemic thunderstorm asthma event occurred in Victoria 7 years ago, on a day of extremely high airborne grass pollen concentrations. It resulted in thousands of emergency department presentations, and hundreds of hospital admissions. There were 35 intensive care admissions, and ultimately thunderstorm asthma contributed to 10 deaths.
People with current, past or undiagnosed asthma or hay fever are considered to be at risk of thunderstorm asthma. Having both asthma and hay fever or poorly controlled asthma increases the risk further.
Those at risk should monitor the DoH’s thunderstorm asthma risk forecast website regularly, and have a plan in place should risks not be low, or they start to suffer the effects of thunderstorm asthma. It’s important this plan is understood by family members and co-workers.
If you wish to discuss your risks and response to thunderstorm asthma with your favourite Turn The Corner doctor, you can make an appointment here.