‘High risk’ thunderstorm asthma warning for Victoria’s south-east

Residents in south-east Victoria have been put on high alert for epidemic thunderstorm asthma.

High grass pollen levels and an unexpected thunderstorm forecast on Thursday means people in West and South Gippsland may experience difficulty breathing, according to Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said Victorians with asthma or hay fever should review the asthma first aid steps.Credit:Getty

“People with asthma or hay fever, or who experience wheezing, breathlessness, a feeling of tightness in the chest or a persistent cough, should have their reliever medication with them at all times today,” he said.

People should avoid strong wind gusts before the storm, and should close windows and doors.

Deputy Chief Heath Officer Professor Allen Cheng said he did not expect Thursday’s risk to be as bad as a 2016 thunderstorm asthma event in which 10 people died.

“I think that was a very, very unusual event and certainly we probably wouldn’t expect an event like that,” he said.

More to come.

Call Nurse on Call on 1300 60 60 24 or see your local doctor if you require medical advice.

Call triple zero (000) immediately if someone is not breathing, if their asthma suddenly becomes worse or is not improving, or if the person is having an asthma attack and a reliever puffer is not available.

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