thunderstorm asthma


Death toll from ‘thunderstorm asthma’ in Australia rises to 8

PUBLISHED Mon, November 28, 2016 - 10:53pm EST

The death toll in the Australian state of Victoria from a rare phenomenon called "thunderstorm asthma" has risen to at least 8. More than 8,500 people were treated at area hospitals, including one who remains in a critical condition.

The incident began at about 6:30 p.m. on November 22 when emergency services in the state of Victoria started receiving a sharp increase in people who suffered from respiratory symptoms. It coincided with heavy rain and a thunderstorm that hit the area.

Over the next few hours, hospitals across the region treated more than 8,500 people in connection with the event, which flooded emergency lines with thousands of calls and overwhelming the health system as they struggled to treat the victims. Melbourne, Geelong and nearby areas were the worst hit areas.

The Victoria Department of Health & Human Services confirmed on Tuesday that two patients who were earlier described as critical had died, raising the death toll to eight. Seven other patients remain hospitalized for a variety of respiratory and related conditions, including a man who is in a critical condition at a Melbourne hospital.

The phenomenon happens during a thunderstorm when downdrafts of cold air concentrate pollens and mold spores before sweeping them into the high humidity of clouds. They are then broken down into small, respirable fragments which are released through rain. They can then cause severe asthma attacks as the allergens are highly concentrated.

People who never experienced an asthma attack before can also be affected by the phenomenon if they have a history of allergic rhinitis. And while thunderstorms have long been linked to increases in asthma attacks, especially during the grass flowering season, the scale of the emergency in Victoria was unprecedented.

  Australia        1 UPDATES





Happening Now

ISIS supporter charged with trying to bomb Miami mall

News summary for Monday, October 23, 2017

Virginia Amber Alert: Cayden Merchant abducted from Chesterfield

Nicaragua signs ‘insufficient’ Paris climate agreement

Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon on lockdown due to armed suspect


Listen to "BNO News - Breaking News Radio" on Spreaker.


Just want the important news? Sign up now for the fastest email alerts from BNO News. Click here to get started!


Virginia Amber Alert: Cayden Merchant abducted from Chesterfield

Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon on lockdown due to armed suspect

Evacuation at LAX Airport due to suspicious item

Hostage situation at bowling alley in Nuneaton, England

Train derails and hits building in Knoxville, Tennessee


Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner dead at 91

1 dead, 7 injured after gunman opens fire at Tennessee church

Dam failure ‘imminent’ in northwest Puerto Rico, evacuations underway

U.S. Senator John McCain will not support revised GOP health care bill

North Korean leader vows to respond to Trump’s threat