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11 November 2022

People prone to respiratory conditions are being urged to take extra care as the start of thunderstorm season approaches.

Western NSW Local Health District Director Public Health Unit Priscilla Stanley has urged asthma sufferers and people with breathing problems to take extra precautions during the next few days in the Dubbo region.

“Even if you don’t have asthma, you should take extra care because airborne pollens are at their highest levels at this time of year,” Ms Stanley said.

“Where possible avoid being outside during thunderstorms over the next four weeks. Parents should be vigilant to keep their children inside during storms, with the doors and windows closed”.

“Thunderstorms cause pollen grains to explode and release fine particles which can be inhaled deeply into the lungs, causing even more people to wheeze and sneeze.

“Anyone with diagnosed asthma should carry their asthma medication with them at all times during this high risk period.”

The Public Health Unit will be monitoring thunderstorm activity and issuing alerts at these high risk times.

“If you have asthma, make sure you have an asthma action plan and are proactively managing your symptoms.

“It’s also important for people to know Asthma first aid, so they can help family and friends when they need it.”

The four steps to remember are:
• sit the person upright;
• give four separate puffs from their reliever puffer;
• wait four minutes and if there’s no improvement, give four more puffs; and
• if there’s still no improvement, dial 000.

Breathing difficulties can be life threatening. In the event of an asthma emergency dial triple zero (000) immediately.