Death toll rises in Australia 'thunderstorm asthma'
The death toll from Australia’s “thunderstorm asthma” episode has risen to six and three others are in critical condition, authorities said Sunday, as they assessed the fallout from the unprecedented event, Reuters reported.
Four victims – ranging from the ages of 18 to 35 – were last week linked to the unusual weather phenomenon, where a thunderstorm coincided with a high pollen count and sent more than 8,500 patients to hospital emergency departments.
The rare event in Australia’s southern state of Victoria triggered respiratory problems for asthma and hay fever sufferers.
“There have now been six deaths that may have occurred as a result of conditions relating to the thunderstorm asthma events on Monday,” Victoria’s health department spokesman said in a statement.