Thunderstorm comes with an asthma warning

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ELEVATED pollen levels and the possibility of a severe thunderstorm tomorrow (November 28) raises health warnings of an asthma event in the territory, according to ACT Health. 

There is also a possibility that raised dust may impact the ACT on Sunday due to strong and gusty winds, the directorate warns. 

“Thunderstorm asthma can be triggered by a combination of high grass pollen levels and a particular type of thunderstorm, which causes some people to develop severe asthma symptoms over a short period of time,” says an ACT Health spokesperson.

“The risk of thunderstorm asthma may be increased this year with wetter than usual conditions encouraging grass growth and increased stormy weather in our region.

“People who suffer from hay fever and/or asthma are encouraged to be vigilant over the weekend for any worsening of their condition.

“People who have been diagnosed with asthma in the past should also be prepared for a thunderstorm asthma event, particularly if they have suffered or continue to suffer from hay fever. Carry a reliever (blue puffer) with you.

“Where possible avoid being outside during a thunderstorm – especially in the wind gusts that come before the storm. Go inside and close your doors and windows. If you have your air conditioning on, turn it onto recirculate.

“If you develop asthma symptoms, use your reliever (blue puffer) medication and follow your asthma action plan, if you have one. If you experience asthma symptoms that are not relieved by usual asthma treatment, you should seek further urgent medical advice. In the event of a medical emergency you should call 000.”

ACT Health also want to remind Canberrans who suffer from asthma and hay fever to see their doctor or pharmacist to make sure their treatment and action plans are up to date during the pollen season.

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