AN AIR quality advice warning for possible thunderstorm asthma has been issued by emergency services.
Anyone with a history of asthma or hay fever, or experiencing wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness or persistent cough has been warned to have reliever medication with them at all times.
People have been urged to avoid wind gusts before the storm and the storm itself, by staying inside with closed windows and doors.
Any air conditioning should be turned on to recirculate.
VicEmergency issued the advice warning for the Northern Country, Mallee, Wimmera and South West districts ahead of storms and rain on Wednesday afternoon.
If you are experiencing asthma symptoms for the first time see a doctor to make a diagnosis. If they are severe call Triple Zero (000).
Contact Nurse on Call on 1300 60 60 24 or see your doctor if you require medical advice.
If you develop asthma symptoms follow your asthma action plan, or if you don't have a plan follow the four steps of asthma first aid.
Find out more about epidemic thunderstorm asthma here.
In an emergency call Triple Zero (000).
THE Bendigo region is at a high risk of thunderstorm asthma on Wednesday, according to emergency forecasts.
Damaging winds have also been forecast for parts of central Victoria on Wednesday, as a cold front moves across the state.
Showers and thunderstorms are likely in Bendigo during the afternoon and evening, weather forecasts state.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for winds averaging 50 to 60 kilometres per hour, with peak gusts of about 90 over elevated areas, these include Kyneton and Ararat.
Severe thunderstorms, damaging winds and heaving rain are also possible outside the warning area, the Bureau warned.
VicEmergency has issued a high thunderstorm asthma forecast for the northern country, including Bendigo.
It comes as pollen counts are forecast to be extreme in the northern country region.
Anyone at risk of thunderstorm asthma, such as those with grass pollen allergy and asthma, has been urged to avoid going outside during thunderstorms and the wind gusts that precede them.
Health authorities have urged anyone with asthma or hay fever, to plan ahead and have their asthma medication on hand.
Residents of areas at risk of damaging winds have been urged to check any loose items outdoors are secured.
The Bureau warned these people to stay indoors, away from windows. If outdoors, people should move to a safe place indoors, staying away from trees, drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.
If driving conditions are dangerous pull over away from trees, drains, low-lying areas and floodwater.
Never drive through floodwater.
Call Triple Zero (000) if you or anyone near you is struggling to breath, coughing, wheezing, unable to speak a full sentence in one breath or if reliever medication isn't lasting as long as usual.
Find out more about thunderstorm asthma on the Victorian government's Better Health Channel.
Find out more on the VicEmergency website.
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