Thunderstorm Asthma Warning System

19:03' 23-11-2017
The period between 1 October and 31 December is the time of highest risk for “Thunderstorm Asthma”. This is a major respiratory problem which affects some people, and can be fatal. Last year ten Victorians died from it, and hundreds were hospitalised.

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    A survey by Asthma Australia showed that 4 in 10 people affected in the 2016 epidemic did not have a previous history of asthma.

    During the danger period, the government will operate a thunderstorm asthma forecast system. The system combines the forecasting of a certain uncommon type of thunderstorm and grass pollen counts.

    The warning system spans three days, and uses a colour-coded scale to indicate the level of risk.

    A low risk forecast (Green) means that the elements necessary for an epidemic thunderstorm asthma event are not expected and an event is unlikely.

    A moderate risk forecast (Orange) means that one of the elements necessary for an event may be present.

    A high risk forecast (Red) means two elements necessary for an epidemic thunderstorm asthma event are likely to occur.

    In the case of an Orange or Red forecast, people at risk should remain inside during the storm and avoid the wind gusts. They should also have an asthma reliever (puffer) available.

    The warning system is simply a forecast of the possible risk, not a prediction that a thunderstorm asthma event will occur.

    To access the Epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecast, visit This site also contains warnings of other events, such as floods and fires.

    On the day of a high risk forecast, an “Advice” will be published on

    For translated information visit, type “Thunderstorm Asthma” in the Search box, and choose your language from the dropdown menu.

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Keywords: asthma relieverrespiratory problemthunderstorm asthma

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