Melbourne’s emergency services are up against it this weekend, following an outbreak of the medical phenomenon ‘thunderstorm asthma’.
Thunderstorm asthma is a rare condition whereby an asthma attack is triggered by a number of environmental conditions, brought on by a thunderstorm.
Typically, rye grass pollen ends up getting wet in the extreme weather conditions, causing it to break up into the atmosphere and trigger serious breathing problems among asthmatics.
The phenomenon is said to have been set in motion early last week, triggered by heavy downpours in Victoria.
In the days that followed, the emergency services were inundated with calls from people complaining of serious breathing problems.
With reports that a whopping 8,000 people have already received treatment, it has emerged that thunderstorm asthma has already claimed six lives.
Four of the victims have been named: father-of-two Clarence Leo; Apollo Papadopoulos, 35; student Hope Carnevali, 20; and 12-year-old Omar Moujalled.
A further three people are said to be in ‘critical’ condition.
We are thinking of all those affected, and we’re wishing a speedy recovery to those battling the condition.