The Victorian Government in Australia is planning to introduce a new pollen monitoring network as part of a package to combat thunderstorm asthma.
The A$1m ($0.75m) package also includes new funding to understand and predict the phenomenon of asthma.
A preliminary report from the Inspector-General for Emergency Management has been released by Minister for Health Jill Hennessy into the unprecedented thunderstorm asthma event that took place on 21 and 22 November last year.
Jill Hennessy said: “We want to assure all Victorians that every lesson to be learnt will be learnt, and the right systems, resources and measures will be put in place so we can better prepare for, and respond to similar events like this in the future.”
“More research and expanded pollen monitoring will make sure we have the best information and science to better predict thunderstorm asthma events ahead of this year’s pollen season.”
The government plans to invest A$700,000 to support research into the underlying causes of this asthma and the processes for forecasting these events.
Furthermore, A$300,000 will be spent to expand the state’s current pollen monitoring network and tenders would be sought from agencies for five more monitoring sites, beginning October this year.
This data will be used as part of the new research.
With the expanded pollen monitoring service in Victoria, the phenomenon of thunderstorm asthma will be understood well and Victorian community would also be provided with information to assist susceptible groups.
The service will also help educate Victorians about the trigger for asthma and hay fever.
Image: A thunderstorm. Photo: courtesy of smial (talk).