Dust Storm – ACT and surrounding region

The ACT Ambulance Service is warning the community that the current dust storm over Canberra may exacerbate respiratory conditions in some people.

This is a dust storm event and not the result of fire. There are currently no fires in the region.

People who suffer from hay-fever, asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to be vigilant over the weekend for exacerbations of their condition.

People with asthma, hay fever or other respiratory conditions can protect themselves during these periods of increased risk by:

o avoiding going outside in storms that may emerge, especially the wind gusts that precede them
o having their reliever available
o review their asthma action plan, and
o review the four steps of asthma first aid (https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/videos/thunderstormasthma-firstaid)

If people are experiencing asthma symptoms or difficulty breathing which are unrelieved by their usual treatment, seek further urgent medical advice. In the event of a medical emergency call 000.

This is also a reminder for Canberrans who suffer from respiratory conditions to see their doctor or pharmacist to make sure their treatment and action plans are up-to-date and appropriate during the pollen season.

A useful resource to help Canberrans monitor pollen levels is the free AirRater Smartphone app which provides users with real-time information on air quality.

For more information on managing asthma and hay fever, visit: https://www.health.act.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-09/Asthma and Pollen – Information Sheet.pdf

To download the free AirRater smartphone application: https://airrater.org/

Visit the daily Canberra Pollen Count and Forecast Service: http://www.canberrapollen.com.au

To keep up to date on further air quality indicators, including smoke, visit the ACT Health website: https://health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/population-health/environmental-monitoring-air-water/monitoring/historical

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