NEWS

More Thunderstorm Asthma Could Be Headed For Melbourne

Extra medical staff have been rostered on for Sunday.

03/12/2016 8:40 AM AEDT | Updated 04/12/2016 8:56 AM AEDT
Insung Jeon
There's a warning about another thunderstorm asthma in Melbourne.

Melburnians who suffer from respiratory problems should be on high alert on Sunday as the city faces down another potential outbreak of thunderstorm asthma two weeks after a deadly freak storm.

Ambulance Victoria is said to have rostered on extra paramedics for Sunday, with storms set to sweep through Melbourne after the current spell of hot weather.

National Asthma Council Australia Chair Jonathan Burdon urged asthma sufferers to get prepared in case another freak weather event occurred.

"If you've been prescribed reliever medication you should be taking that on a regular basis that's what it's for," Burdon told the Nine Network.

"The other important thing is that they should have their reliever medication, that's their blue puffer ... on hand at all times."

Ambulance Victoria spokesperson Paul Holman said the extra paramedics were to make sure authorities were prepared in the wake of last month's fatal storm.

"This is really just a way of going out and saying, 'look we've learned some lessons from last week already, we're out there preparing'," Holman is quoted as saying, according to Network Seven.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting the mercury to climb on Sunday followed by possible thunderstorms and a cool change overnight Sunday and into Monday.

Authorities are warning people who suffer from hayfever, grass allergies or asthma to be on high alert about conditions.

Late last month, the freak asthma thunderstorm hit Melbourne and pushed the city to the brink. It caused an outbreak of severe breathing difficulties across the city on Monday and sparked 1900 calls to emergency services which Ambulance Victoria said was six-times the normal rate, while an additional 60 ambulances were put on to keep up with demand.

There were at least 8500 people treated due to the thunderstorm, many experiencing breathing problems.

The Inspector General for Emergency Management in Victoria is currently examining the cause of the eight deaths, with findings forming part of a sweeping review that will look at how emergency services responded to the crisis.

A very unusual weather occurrence, thunderstorm asthma is triggered by large storms that can cause significant breathing problems even for totally healthy people.

The big issue last time around was that the torrential rain combined with a high pollen count, sending millions of small particles across the city.

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