Pollen count ending

The grass pollen season is now well and truly over as we haven't recorded anything but low since the moderate we saw on January 4. Hay fever symptoms, reported through the survey available on our app, also haven't topped 2 (very mild symptoms) in quite a while.

So we've decided to bring our sevice to a close and to stop counting.  Our last count will be on January 31.

I'll put up a summary of the past season, what we saw, what you told us and how all this compares to other seasons, in the next week or so.

Thanks for all your support over the past few months and look out for us again later in the year.

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.

Read More

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.

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.

Read more.

Photo by Dan@Flickr

Rare thunderstorm asthma kills 4 in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia — Three patients remained critically ill on Thursday, three days after a rare condition known as thunderstorm asthma killed four people and sent hundreds to hospitals in Australia’s second-largest city, an official said.

...

Melbourne University botanist Ed Newbigin, who runs Melbourne’s main pollen-counting station, said forecasting such events should be possible.

“Thunderstorms and high pollen levels in the air occur reasonably frequently this time of year, but not all those events result in episodes of thunderstorm asthma,” Newbigin said.

“We can probably figure out what are the requirements for producing thunderstorm asthma and come up with, if not a perfect forecast system, at least a pretty good one,” he said.

The world’s first recorded thunderstorm asthma event occurred in Melbourne in 1987. Similar events have happened in the United States, Canada, Britain and Italy. The last major event in Melbourne was in November 2010.

Read more.

This information is copyright (disclaimer & copyright).
Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part maybe reproduced by any process without prior written permission from
the University of Melbourne, Australia. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to Associate Professor Ed Newbigin
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne. Phone: +61 3 8344 4871.