Meteorologists have issued a severe weather warning for Ballarat for Thursday night as the public is warned about the danger of thunderstorm asthma.
The Bureau of Meteorology is warning of damaging winds through area late tonight.
Showers and thunderstorms are also forecast to develop on Thursday and should ease over western districts by sunrise on Friday.
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Ballarat is forecast to receive between 10mm and 20mm of rain on Thursday, with wind gusts up to 100km/h possible.
It could also be hit by a "gusty thunderstorm" at some point in the afternoon and people are being urged to closely monitor conditions given the risk of asthma events.
A high-risk thunderstorm asthma warning has been issued for the Mallee, South West and Wimmera weather districts.
Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer, Dr Angie Bone advised the storm would move through those parts of the state on Thursday.
A moderate-level thunderstorm asthma forecast has been issued for Ballarat.
A thunderstorm asthma event in 2016 killed nine people in Melbourne and saw thousands more hospitalised.
The combination of forecast high grass pollen levels and thunderstorms with strong winds means that there is a chance that a large number of people may develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time.
Health and emergency services are monitoring the situation closely and are ready to respond.
Our hospitals are experiencing significant demand due to COVID-19, so it's important you stay well.
You can protect yourself and those in your care by following these simple steps:
- Monitor the epidemic thunderstorm asthma risk forecast on the VicEmergency app;
- Avoid being outdoors in a storm, especially the winds that precede them;
- Take your preventative medication as directed, even when you're symptom free;
- Carry your reliever and know how to manage an asthma attack. Follow your asthma action plan or use asthma first aid.
Call Nurse on Call on 1300 60 60 24 or see your local doctor if you require medical advice.
Call triple zero (000) immediately if someone is not breathing, if their asthma suddenly becomes worse or is not improving, or if the person is having an asthma attack and a reliever puffer is not available.
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