7 November 2023

Thunderstorm asthma warning for Murrumbidgee Local Health District

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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woman with asthma

Murrumbidgee Local Health District has issued a thunderstorm asthma alert from Tuesday to Thursday this week. Photo: iStock/Bobex-73.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) has issued a thunderstorm health alert for Albury.

MLHD public health unit director Alison Nikitas issued the alert for the Murrumbidgee Local Health District – Southern Riverina area for 7-9 November.

High pollen counts and predicted thunderstorms can exacerbate the risk of asthma, even for those who have never had it before.

If you know you have asthma, carry your asthma puffer and try to stay indoors with the windows and doors closed during the storm period.

Be aware that thunderstorm asthma can also affect people who have not had asthma before.

If you have breathing difficulties, call 000 or go to your nearest hospital Emergency Department.

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How do you know if you’re at risk?

Asthma Australia says people at risk of acute asthma flare-ups triggered by a thunderstorm include those with seasonal hayfever, current asthma, a history of asthma or undiagnosed asthma.

Adults are at the highest risk for thunderstorm asthma, especially if they are sensitive to grass pollen and have seasonal hayfever.

Asthma Australia says the worst outcomes are seen in people with poorly controlled asthma.

asthma first aid information

Asthma First Aid. Photo: National Asthma Council.

How to manage the risk of thunderstorm asthma

Learn about thunderstorm asthma and determine whether or not you are at risk, and talk to your doctor about the need for inhaled preventer medicine treatment for allergies.

Have an Asthma Action Plan and have practical knowledge of the four steps of Asthma First Aid.

Have reliever medication available at all times, be on alert for thunderstorm forecasts and never ignore asthma symptoms like breathlessness, wheezing and tightness in the chest.

You can monitor thunderstorm activity in your region via the Bureau of Meteorology website.

To receive an SMS alert when the pollen counts are high and thunderstorms are predicted,visit this website to register, or text the word Asthma to 0417 115 876

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