‘Thun­der­storm asthma’ claims more lives

Fiji Sun - - Sun Spectrum - Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

The num­ber of peo­ple dy­ing in the Aus­tralian city of Mel­bourne from a rare phe­nom­e­non called thun­der­storm asthma has risen to eight.

One per­son re­mains in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion. Heavy rains and winds last Mon­day trig­gered thou­sands of pollen al­lergy asthma at­tacks in the state of Vic­to­ria. Paramedics and hos­pi­tals were stretched to their lim­its as thou­sands phoned to re­port breath­ing prob­lems. Thun­der­storm asthma oc­curs in the spring when rye grass pollen gets wet, breaks into smaller pieces and en­ters peo­ple’s lungs, caus­ing them breath­ing prob­lems. More than 8,000 peo­ple were treated in hospi­tal. About one in 10 peo­ple has asthma in Aus­tralia, with about 80% of those suf­fer­ers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing al­ler­gies, par­tic­u­larly to rye pollen. Mel­bourne’s cur­rent spring sea­son has been par­tic­u­larly wet, cre­at­ing havoc for asthma and hay fever suf­fer­ers. BBC

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