Why 2016 has been the worst Christmas in years for hay fever sufferers

Read Craig Butt's article in The Age.  Although we'd normally finish on December 31, we'll be continuing our daily count into January to cover this year's much prolonged hay fever season.

 

This Christmas was a scorcher, and it was also the worst festive season in years for hay fever sufferers.

Unusually for late December, there were four consecutive high pollen days from December 23 to 26, something which has not occurred in the two decades that Melbourne's daily hay fever data has been collected.

The bad news for those with allergies is that the high grass pollen levels are not expected to let up, with Tuesday also expected to be a sneezy one.

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Christmas Greetings from MPC

Peace, love and joy to all.  The Melbourne Pollen Count team wishes everyone a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Keeping one step ahead of pollen triggers for thunderstorm asthma

The recent Melbourne thunderstorm asthma event has led some people to question what made this hay fever season so bad and how this tragic event occurred.

Thunderstorm asthma, a sudden surge in cases of acute respiratory illness coinciding with local thunderstorms, ranges from small events that affect handfuls of people to large-scale epidemics that impact a whole city and severely strain the capacity of emergency services.

Thunderstorm asthma occurs when a complex interaction of meteorological and biological factors affects a group of susceptible individuals.

We don’t yet know the clinical circumstances and allergic sensitivities of those who sought medical care on the night of the recent episode. But, based on similar events in Australia, most will likely have been allergic to grass pollen, in particular rye grass pollen.

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Photo by Dan@Flickr

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