Department of Health

Epidemic thunderstorm asthma – high risk in Northern Country, North Central, North East and East Gippsland

Due to increased storm activity, today’s risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma has increased in Victoria’s Northern Country and North Central weather districts.

18/12/21

Epidemic thunderstorm asthma – high risk in Northern Country, North Central, North East and East Gippsland

Due to increased storm activity, today’s risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma has increased in Victoria’s Northern Country and North Central weather districts.

The current forecast high risk in North East and East Gippsland remains in place.

Today’s epidemic thunderstorm asthma risk is high in four of the nine weather districts in Victoria and moderate in central and West & South Gippsland.

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

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

Our hospitals are experiencing significant demand due to COVID-19, so it’s important you stay well and avoid unnecessary use of emergency health services.

You can protect yourself and those in your care by following these simple steps:

  • Monitor the epidemic thunderstorm asthma risk forecast on the VicEmergency app;
  • Avoid being outdoors in a storm, especially the winds that precede them;
  • Take your preventative medication as directed, even when you’re symptom free;
  • Carry your reliever and know how to manage an asthma attack. Follow your asthma action plan or use asthma first aid.

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.

For up-to-date information visit the VicEmergency website or download the VicEmergency App.

Epidemic thunderstorm asthma risk forecasts are available to 31 December on the VicEmergency app and website Prepare and Get Ready: Thunderstorm asthma forecast.

Pollen observations and forecasts are available at Melbourne Pollen and via the Melbourne Pollen App.

Reviewed 18 December 2021

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