Victorians with breathing problems are warned to stay indoors as wild weather and high grass pollen levels lead to potentially fatal conditions.
A warning of epidemic thunderstorm asthma in southwest Victoria was raised from medium to high on Saturday afternoon.
Brett Sutton, chief health officer, said the combination of projected high grass pollen levels and an unexpected thunderstorm with high winds was worrying.
Health and emergency services are closely monitoring the situation and ready to respond, he said.
People in the southwest with asthma or hay fever or other respiratory diseases should have their medication with them at all times on Saturday.
The DHHS also advises avoiding the gusts of wind before the storm by staying indoors and closing windows and doors.
It can affect people with asthma or hay fever and has varying degrees of severity. In the worst case, especially with asthmatics, this can be fatal.
Justin Dunlop, Ambulance Victoria’s state health commander, previously said the Bureau of Meteorology had told him November would be the highlight of this year’s pollen season.
Regardless of the trigger, the health department says, symptoms and treatment for asthma remain essentially the same.
Thunderstorm asthma, thunderstorm, Victoria
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