Thunderstorm Asthma

Grass pollen season (1 October to 31 December) brings a seasonal increase in asthma and hay fever. It also brings the chance of epidemic thunderstorm asthma.

An epidemic thunderstorm asthma (ETSA) event is an uncommon phenomenon where a large number of people experience asthma over a short period of time. The department has been working with the Bureau of Meteorology and a number of partner organisations to develop the Victorian epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecasting system.

The forecasting system has been designed to forecast the risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma events. It is not designed to forecast the seasonal increase in asthma and hay fever symptoms which occur every year during the grass pollen season, which can be triggered by pollen and changes in weather generally.

Pharmacies may see an increase in the number of patients presenting with breathing difficulties. Members should keep themselves up to date with the latest conditions so that your pharmacy can be as prepared as possible for a Thunderstorm Asthma incident.

The Victorian Branch will issue alerts through the Pharmacy Guild Mobile App - You can download the app here


Resources

  • Thunderstorm Asthma Flowchart for Pharmacists - Click here
  • Epidemic thunderstorm asthma information paper - Click here
  • Department Of Health & Human Services - Epidemic thunderstorm asthma - Click here
  • Better Health Channel - Epidemic thunderstorm asthma - Click here
  • Better Health Channel - Asthma emergency first aid - Click here

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Page last updated 16 July 2019