Published by Department of Health & Human Services
To coincide with the end of grass pollen season Victoria's epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecasting system will cease delivering forecasts on Sunday, December 31.
Epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecasts will resume at the start of the 2018 Victorian grass pollen season on October 1, 2018.
Victoria's Chief Health Officer, Professor Charles Guest, says the end of the risk of the grass pollen season for 2017 does not mean people with asthma or hay fever should be complacent when it comes to their asthma management and symptom control.
Victoria's epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecasting system predicts epidemic thunderstorm asthma events triggered by high grass pollen levels and a certain type of thunderstorm. These uncommon events have the potential to cause a large number of people to develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time, specifically during grass pollen season between October 1 and December 31 each year.
As part of a coordinated strategy to equip Victoria for a potential epidemic thunderstorm asthma event, the Victorian government expanded the state's grass pollen data collection sites with new pollen traps in Hamilton, Creswick, Bendigo, Dookie and Churchill, in addition to existing traps in Parkville, Burwood and Geelong.
Good asthma management means taking preventer medication regularly as prescribed, using inhalers correctly and seeing your doctor if there are any ongoing symptoms.
For more information on thunderstorm asthma and asthma first aid visit:
"We want everyone – especially people with asthma and hay fever – to be as prepared as they can all year round," said Professor Charles Guest, Chief Health Officer.
"Grass pollen season is over, but asthma symptoms may develop at any time, so make sure you have an up to date asthma action plan."
Michelle Goldman, CEO of Asthma Australia "Good asthma management year-round as well as treating hay fever symptoms makes a person less vulnerable to asthma flare-ups. This includes taking preventer medication as prescribed, having correct inhaler technique, an asthma action plan and an annual review with your doctor."
"People often treat their asthma as a short-term condition that comes and goes when they have asthma symptoms. But asthma is a chronic (long-term) condition that's always there, even when you don't have symptoms. It is important to manage your asthma and have good control all year round."
Reviewed 27 December 2017