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At least two people died and hundreds have been rushed to hospitals in Melbourne after a violent thunderstorm triggered a mass asthma attack in the city. The extremely rare event - known as thunderstorm asthma - triggered a six-fold increase in emergency calls and hospital admissions as nearly 2,000 people, called for help. The city ran out of ambulances and turned to police cars to get people to hospitals. Many pharmacies sold out of asthma inhalers. Hope Carnevali, a 20-year-old law student, died on the front lawn of her home after she and her family waited more than 30 minutes for an ambulance.
www.abc.net.au... 'Thunderstorm asthma' reaches epidemic proportion' 'Professor Jo Douglass, an allergy specialist, says Melbourne experienced some very unusual weather conditions in the past day or so with hot weather, humidity and a high pollen count' "Normally we'd see about a tenth of that in a 24-hour period so you can imagine that's a substantial increase." I have never heard of this before ,and 10 times the normal admissions is a big increase. Anyone know if this is a common problem?.
Thunderstorm asthma is the triggering of an asthma attack by environmental conditions directly caused by a local thunderstorm. During a thunderstorm, pollen grains can absorb moisture and then burst into much smaller fragments with these fragments being easily dispersed by wind. While larger pollen grains are usually filtered by hairs in the nose, the smaller pollen fragments are able to pass through and enter the lungs, triggering the asthma attack. There have been reports of thunderstorms causing widespread asthma attacks across city populations which have overwhelmed emergency services and hospitals and led to deaths. The phenomenon was first recorded in Melbourne, Australia in 1987, and since then there have been further reports of widespread thunderstorm asthma in Wagga Wagga in Australia; London and Birmingham in the United Kingdom; Naples, Italy, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and southwest Iran. It has been found 95% of those that were affected by thunderstorm asthma had a history of hayfever, and 96% of those people had tested positive to grass pollen allergies, particularly rye grass. As a rye grass pollen grain can hold up to 700 of these tiny starch granules, measuring 0.6 to 2.5 um, which is small enough to reach the lower airways in the lung. Even so, the conditions surrounding thunderstorm asthma are so strong that a number of those affected during a thunderstorm asthma outbreak may have never experienced an asthma attack before. On November 21, 2016, Melbourne experienced another asthma epidemic during and after a local thunderstorm that overwhelmed the ambulance system and some local hospitals. Four people died after experiencing respiratory issues during the thunderstorm.
originally posted by: kosmicjack
My son gets a mild version of this this but I never considered it was pollen but, instead, ozone sinking to ground level. Impacts like a heavy smog day for a little while.
This is pretty common in the South. The leading edge of a line of thunderstorms is almost ALWAYS laden with plant pollen.
originally posted by: hopenotfeariswhatweneed
Interesting.....Someone interviewed today i was listening to on news radio was saying that it takes three quite unique events to have such a scenario happen...
originally posted by: NightSkyeB4Dawn
Every time I hear people that have lived in areas for long periods of time, say that this is something that has never happened before, my ears perk up.
I think that we are not being wise when we reject the strange and try to make it normal.
Our world, our whole planet is changing. I am not going to claim I know why. Natural changes, changes due to erosion caused by time, changes due to human activity, regardless to the reason, I think we are foolish to pretend that all is the same.
Almost everyday we hear about something happening in areas where it has never happened before. So much so, that it has to become clear at some point, that something big is going on. Something that we are being told less than the truth about. Real, fake, there is a reason why this is happening. I think if we wait until they tell us the truth, it will be too late to make a difference.
Scientists from Tel Aviv University say that their new research shows that for every 1°C of warming there will be roughly a 10% increase in lightning activity.
originally posted by: Melbourne_Militia
Death toll attributed to this is currently at 4. Effects from astma can last several days.
My 2 young sons were affected by this. My workmates daughter was rushed to hospital where the line to get to the front counter was 200m long.
My bro in law was also rushed to hospital, he is an astmatic.
My eldest son gets hayfever just like me, my youngest son has never got it before. But this year we have had a very very wet and cool spring and wild grass and flowers have gone nuts growing and flowering. It has been one of the worst years for hayfever allergies on record.
So many older people who have never had hayfever allergies before in their lives have got it this year.
The Thunderstorm "astma" I dont only put down to the strong winds/front that brought in mass amount of pollen and dust but after the storm front passed, it wasn't cool straight away as normal but still very warm, and due to the preceding rain, it was extremely humid for an hour or so afterwards.
I put it down to a combination of factors, pollen/dust/humidity and air pressure post storm.
The sad thing is, our emergency services couldnt handle all the calls.....imagine if a larger, more serious incident occured that resulted in mass "serious" casualties (not saying those that died of astma werent serious, but you know what I mean).