15 November 2017
Dr Mark Veitch, Director of Public Health
Thunderstorm asthma warning
The Director of Public Health advises people with asthma and hay fever to take special care of their health today.
Pollen levels from many different plants, including grasses, have been very high across Tasmania.
The Bureau of Meteorology has advised that thunderstorms could develop across the state with the risk highest in the Southeast.
It is uncommon for thunderstorms and high pollen counts to coincide in Tasmania because thunderstorms are less common here than on the mainland.
However, today is a day where the right conditions could line up to increase the risk of thunderstorm asthma in Tasmania.
The combination of high pollen, thunderstorms and strong winds can increase the risk of severe asthma in people with seasonal hay fever or allergic asthma. This is known as thunderstorm asthma.
Thunderstorm asthma can also affect people who have never had asthma before.
If you have been prescribed an asthma preventer, make sure you use it and have your reliever medication handy.
If you need urgent medical care, call an ambulance on triple zero (000).
The free AirRater app shows daily pollen counts across Tasmania. It can help you identify which types of pollen (or other triggers like outdoor smoke) can make your symptoms worse.
Visit www.airrater.org for more information and how to download the app.
For more information see www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/publichealth/air/thunderstorm_asthm