SOUTH and West Gippsland residents may experience asthma symptoms or difficulty breathing due to the combination of thunderstorm activity and high grass pollen levels in the area, authorities warned today (Thursday, December 17).

  • If you have a history of asthma or hay fever, or you experience wheezing, breathlessness, a feeling of tightness in the chest or a persistent cough, you should have reliever medication with you at all times today.
  • Avoid the wind gusts before the storm. Go inside and close your windows and doors before and during the storm.
  • If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms you may be having an asthma attack.
  • An asthma attack is serious and can be life threatening.
  • If you develop asthma symptoms, follow your asthma action plan, or if you don’t have a plan, follow the four steps of asthma first aid.

Be aware of an increased chance of having an asthma attack or breathing difficulties.

Call triple zero (000) immediately if someone is not breathing, if their asthma suddenly becomes worse or is not improving, or if the person is having an asthma attack and a reliever is not available.

What you should do:

  • If you have asthma carry a reliever puffer (usually blue) on you at all times today.
  • If you have hay fever, review the asthma first aid steps and have a reliever puffer suitably available.
  • If using air conditioning, turn it onto recirculate.

If you are experiencing asthma symptoms for the first time:

  • Don’t ignore them, see your doctor to make a diagnosis and if severe call Triple Zero (000).
  • If required use asthma first aid. Remember that asthma relievers are available from pharmacies without a prescription.
  • Make sure you follow up with your doctor.
  • Call Nurse on Call on 1300 60 60 24 or see your doctor if you require medical advice.

This message was issued by DHHS.

The next update is expected by 9pm today (Thursday, December 17) or as the situation changes.

For more information:

For health advice:

  • Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if someone is not breathing, if their asthma suddenly becomes worse, or if someone is having a severe asthma attack.
  • Call Nurse-On-Call on 1300 60 60 24 – for expert health information and advice (24 hours, 7 days).

Use multiple sources to stay informed:

Accessibility:

The following services can help you, or someone you know, access information during an emergency.

  • To access this information in other languages call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (freecall) and ask them to call VicEmergency Hotline.
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment contact National Relay Service on 1800 555 677 and ask them to call the VicEmergency Hotline.

More details at http://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/#!/warning/15362/moreinfo