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Rare asthma thunderstorm kills five in Melbourne

Following on from the weather warnings about fire, Melbourne now faces another weather event, an asthma thunderstorm. The storm has killed 5 people so far and put many in hospital, 20 remain in intensive care. Hospitals treated 8500 people since the storm.

Panicked Melbourne residents flooded emergency services with calls after a freak storm sent the pollen count soaring. Thousands were hospitalized with cardiac and chest pain. Many people remain in intensive care with four of them in a critical condition after an extraordinary thunderstorm triggered thousands of asthma cases in Melbourne, Australia, Victorian state health authorities told local media on Saturday. In all, five people have already died and 20 others remain hospitalized for conditions related to the storm.

The problem is caused when three things come together, a high pollen count (Melbourne is renowned for its asthma causing rye grass pollen), a thunder storm to moisten the pollen making it explode into minute particles and a down draft pushing the particles on to the population.

This asthma storm has stretched emergency services workers to the limit.

For more information, go to www.theage.com.au/victoria/thunderstorm-asthma-three-people-critical-8500-treated-in-melbourne-hospitals

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