Thunderstorm asthma warning in flood and mould affected areas

Thunderstorm asthma warning in flood and mould affected areas

Flood recovery efforts are underway across Victoria, with most affected residents now able to return home and repair works underway.

The complexity of the clean-up efforts has been hampered by spring storms, which are common throughout Victoria. Authorities are warning those with respiratory issues to be on the lookout for symptoms.

The combination of a sunny and warm spell of weather, paired with high levels of residual flood water and humidity, make the affected areas particularly prone to mould outbreaks.

In addition to the health risks that mould can pose, particularly for those with existing respiratory conditions, there are additional health warnings due to conditions likely to cause thunderstorm asthma.

Thunderstorm asthma can be the result of high pollen counts – more likely due to high rainfall and warm weather causing grasses to bloom – paired with seasonal thunderstorms.

Residents who have been exposed to mould can be more susceptible to respiratory illnesses and are advised to seek advice from their health professional to manage their symptoms.

“When a mould source is disturbed, small particles called spores are released in the air, which can then trigger asthma and allergy symptoms,” a spokesman for the National Asthma Council and GP Dr Joel Ten said.

“The symptoms can include nose, eye and skin irritation, sneezing or wheezing, and severe breathing difficulties in some people.”

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