25 Jan 2017

Ninth person dies of Melbourne thunderstorm asthma

7:22 pm on 25 January 2017

A ninth person has died after a freak weather event known as thunderstorm asthma late last year.


Melbourne Photo: 123RF

About 8500 people sought hospital treatment when the weather changed abruptly on 21 November, as thunderstorms swept across Melbourne.

Eight people died in just over a week following the event, with the department saying at the time one person remained in critical condition in intensive care.

Today a release from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services confirmed another person had died.

It added that no more patients remained in hospital and, with the pollen season in Victoria now over, it was not expecting storm activity to trigger any more cases.

The Victorian government has announced a review into the public health system's response to the cases, while an inquest by the coroner was also flagged in December.

The events are sparked by large storms, like a cool change in spring, and a high pollen count, which together can cause significant breathing problems including for people who do not have asthma as a condition.


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