Heavy rains and severe thunderstorms in the Australian state of Victoria has provoked thousands of asthma attacks in local residents. It is reported that in just four hours, the emergency service has received about 2,000 calls, which is approximately 6 times higher than the average number of calls at this time.
“Thunderstorm asthma” was provoked by the combination of several factors: strong dusting of ryegrass, high humidity and thunderstorms, resulting in pollen grains of ryegrass broke into small pieces. Usually the pollen of this plant is delayed by hairs in the nose, but small fragments of fingers were able to penetrate directly into the lungs. This is what has caused a lot of asthma attacks, some of which proved fatal. It is reported that one man died waiting for an ambulance (due to the high workload she was driving more than 40 minutes), and the other died in the hospital. Australian experts note that doctors had to appeal to many people who have never experienced asthma attacks.
Previous this situation, triggering a “thunderstorm asthma”, was registered in the region in 2010. There it is, however, not only in Australia but also in other countries such as USA, UK, Canada and Italy. The reason for its occurrence may be not only the pollen of ryegrass, but also pollen from other grasses, and fungal spores.