Department of Health

Epidemic thunderstorm asthma high risk forecast


A high risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma has been forecast for the Northern Country and North Central districts on Sunday, 13 November 2022.

The combination of forecast extreme grass pollen levels and a certain type of thunderstorm with strong winds means there is a chance a large number of people may develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time.

All other districts have a moderate risk forecast tomorrow, including the Wimmera, Mallee, South West, Central, North East, West & South Gippsland and East Gippsland regions.

Health and emergency services are monitoring the situation closely and are ready to respond.

People in high-risk areas 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 tomorrow, and avoid the wind gusts before the storm by going inside and closing their windows and doors.

People who have asthma or seasonal hay fever should review the asthma first aid steps.

People should call Nurse on Call on 1300 60 60 24 or see their local doctor if they require medical advice.

There are around 50 GP respiratory clinics across Victoria offering free respiratory care. Face-to-face and telehealth appointments are available and some clinics are open at night and on weekends.

For information on clinic locations and operating hours, see GP Respiratory Clinics.

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.

For up-to-date information, visit the VicEmergency websiteExternal Link or download the VicEmergency App.

Supercare Pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a private consulting room and a free registered nursing service on site from 6 pm to 10 pm, every day. Find a Supercare Pharmacy near you.

In an emergency, asthma reliever puffers are available from pharmacies without a prescription. People should also follow up with their doctor.

For more information on thunderstorm asthmaExternal Link , visit the Better Health Channel

Reviewed 12 November 2022


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