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Four people in Australia died due to thunderstorm-related asthma

One of the more unusual stories this week was the report that respiratory distress linked to thunderstorms in Melbourne, Australia, caused thousands of asthma attacks and four deaths earlier this week.  You can read more about it in the Capital Weather Gang here.

The culprit was grass pollen which was concentrated ahead of the storm by dry conditions and which then was swept through the community by the gusty winds.  You might wonder how something like this could have happened.  The Guardian has a video and article here that help to explain how thunderstorms and asthma are linked and discusses previous events.  Gizmodo.com also explains why it is worse in Melbourne than other places here.

Source: Thomas Bresson, Commons Wikimedia

Source: Thomas Bresson, Commons Wikimedia