It's grass pollen season and people who suffer from asthma and hay fever will know that means increased risk.
There's also the chance of epidemic thunderstorm asthma for those at risk from asthma and hay fever.
Having an up-to-date plan for your asthma or hay fever is the best way to reduce the risk.
The National Asthma Council has updated the Australian Asthma Handbook with recommendations that offer new alternative treatment options for Victorians with mild asthma.
Anyone with asthma should see their GP to develop or review their asthma action plan and make sure any associated hay fever is well managed.
Given hay fever or asthma symptoms can be very similar to Coronavirus such as a runny nose, cough or shortness of breath, it's very important to get tested if these symptoms are different to usual.
People with asthma and hay fever symptoms may also touch their face more frequently and this increases the risk of being infected or transmitting Coronavirus if you do not follow good hand hygiene.
Wearing a face mask, maintaining at least 1.5 metres of physical distance between yourself and others and practicing good hand and respiratory hygiene remains critical as people who are sneezing and coughing from their hay fever or asthma may produce more droplets and, if they have coronavirus, may be more likely to spread it to others.
If you have questions about COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline 1800 675 398 – open 24 hours, 7 days, or visit the DHHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) website at
The epidemic thunderstorm asthma public health campaign aims to ensure that all Victorians, and in particular people with asthma and/or hay fever, are as prepared as they can be should another epidemic thunderstorm asthma event occur.
The following resources are available for use by health and community services and the general community:
- The Department of Health and Human Services’ thunderstorm asthma campaign resources, including posters and a brochure, are available in 15 languages and can be downloaded from the Health.Vic website campaign toolkit. Alternatively they can be ordered at no cost using the link to the online order form on the toolkit page:
- Community information is available on the Better Health Channel:
- Additional resources are available for the general community, including sports and recreation groups, schools and workplaces from Asthma Australia:
- The Australian Asthma Handbook
The epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecast will be issued throughout the grass pollen season from now until December 31. You can access the forecast via the http://emergency.vic.gov.au/prepare/#thunderstorm-asthma-forecast or the Vic Emergency website or app.
Last updated: October 5, 2020