11 November 2020
Asthma Australia is urging people with asthma or hay fever living in South Western NSW (Wagga Wagga) and Canberra to take all precautions with Thunderstorm asthma warnings in place as follows:
- New South Wales (NSW) Health has issued a warning for people living in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District area for a potential Thunderstorm Asthma event today.
- ACT Health has issued a warning for high pollen and thunderstorms with potential for a thunderstorm asthma event coming into the weekend.
These warnings are in addition to the current Thunderstorm Asthma warning which remains in place for South Western Victoria.
Asthma Australia is monitoring the situation and is working closely with Emergency Services Victoria, the Murrumbidgee Local Health District and ACT Health.
People with asthma or hay fever are strongly advised tohave asthmareliever medication with themat all times, and avoid exposure to wind gusts before and during the storm by staying insidewith windows and doors closed.
Some people can experience asthma symptoms for the first time ever during a Thunderstorm Asthma event.
Asthma symptoms include wheezing, breathlessness, a feeling of tightness in the chest and/or a persistent cough.
If you are experiencing any of the above asthma symptoms, do not ignore them, commence Asthma First Aid and/or seek medical attention, if severe call Triple Zero (000).
An asthma attack is serious and can be life threatening. Symptoms can escalate quickly.
Advice from Asthma Australia includes:
- Ensure you have a reliever puffer and spacer if applicable for your puffer device, at hand. Reliever puffers and spacers are available over the counter at any pharmacy.
- Avoid the wind gusts before the storm. Go inside and close your windows and doors before and during the storm. If you have your air conditioner on, turn it to recirculate.
- Act quickly if you notice any asthma symptoms as explained in your written Asthma Action Plan if you have one, or if you don’t, use Asthma First Aid
- Ensure you or a loved one know the signs and symptoms of asthma and the steps for asthma first aid and what to do in an asthma emergency asthma.org.au/about-asthma/live-with-asthma/asthma-attack
- Continue to take your preventer medication and appropriate treatment for your allergies, including hay fever.
- Keep abreast of changes in weather conditions.
Never ignore asthma symptoms like breathlessness, wheezing and tightness in the chest. Start Asthma First Aid immediately and call Triple Zero (000) for help if symptoms do not get any better or if they start to get worse.
Asthma First Aid for blue/grey reliever medication
- Sit the person upright
- Give 4 separate puffs of a blue/grey reliever puffer
- Wait 4 minutes
- If no improvement call Triple Zero (000)
- Continue to give 4 separate puffs of a blue/grey reliever puffer every 4 minutes until the ambulance arrives
- If your reliever is not a blue/grey puffer style, see our Asthma First Aid chart here
- 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) for asthma education and support.
- National Home Doctor Service 13 SICK (13 74 25) for after-hours home doctor visits (bulked billed)
- To speak to a registered nurse, call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222*(this is an Australian wide 24-hour triage)
- In an emergency, always call Triple Zero (000)
One in nine Australians have asthma and every person’s asthma has different triggers. It is important people know and understand their triggers to stay safe.