Table 1

Previously reported thunderstorm asthma events (since 1980)*

LocationMonth, yearSeasonNo of patients affected after thunderstormDurationExpected No of patients over reported durationProposed allergen
Birmingham, UK15July, 1983Summer106 presentations to 8 emergency departments for asthma or other respiratory disorders48 hours2-20 a dayFungal spores
Melbourne, Australia16November, 1984Spring85 presentations to 1 emergency department for asthmaUp to 24 hoursNRNR
Nottingham, UK17June, 1984Summer19 presentations to 1 emergency department for acute asthma7 hours<6 a dayFungal spores
Melbourne, Australia10November, 1987Spring154 presentations to major emergency departments for asthma12 hours26NR
22 EMS transports for asthma12 hours2
Melbourne, Australia10November, 1989Spring277 presentations to major emergency departments for asthma12 hours26Grass pollen
44 EMS transports for asthma12 hours2
Tamworth, Australia18November, 1990Spring110 presentations to 2 emergency departments for acute asthma5 days<5 a dayGrass pollen
123 GP presentations for acute asthma5 daysNR
London, UK1920June, 1994Summer640 emergency department presentations for asthma or airways disease30 hours66Grass pollen
536 calls for asthma to out-of-hours GP service48 hours135
Wagga Wagga, Australia9October, 1997Spring215 presentations to a major emergency department for asthma36 hoursNRGrass pollen
Calgary, Canada 13July, 2000Summer157 presentations to 3 emergency departments for asthma or shortness of breath48 hours17Fungal spores, pollen
Cambridge, UK21July, 2002Summer57 emergency department presentations or hospital admissions to 1 hospital for acute asthma48 hoursNRFungal spores
Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia22November, 2002AutumnSpike in emergency department presentations at 1 hospital for acute asthma (exact number not specified)Up to 24 hoursNRNR
Melbourne, Australia23November, 2003Spring70 paediatric emergency department presentations for asthma24 hours21Grass pollen
Naples, Italy24June, 2004Summer7 presentations to 1 emergency department for asthma30 minutesNRPollen
South East England, UK25June, 2005Summer400% increase in calls to NHS Direct for “difficulty breathing” and a 50% increase in GP out-of-hours attendancesUp to 24 hoursNRNR
Puglia, Italy26May, 2010Spring20 presentations to 1 emergency department for asthma14 hours2-3 a dayOlive pollen
Melbourne, Australia7November, 2010Spring<40 presentations to 1 tertiary emergency department24 hours<5Grass pollen
London, UK11July, 2013Summer40 emergency department presentations for asthma/wheeze/difficulty breathing24 hours15-20NR
Ahvas, Iran14November, 2013AutumnSudden rise in emergency department presentations for acute bronchospasm attacks (exact number not specified)NRNRAir pollution
Melbourne and Geelong, Australia272829November, 2016Spring9909 emergency department presentations to public hospitals; 2973 for respiratory problems; 476 excess asthma related hospital admissions over 30 hours48 hours6266 presentations; 453 for respiratory problemsGrass pollen
313 nurse on-call calls for breathing/respiratory/allergy problems;24 hours63
332 patients with paramedic assessed acute respiratory distress24 hours52
  • * Includes epidemic thunderstorm asthma events reported in the scientific literature or published reports. Events reported in newspaper articles only are excluded. EMS=emergency medical service; GP=general practitioner; NR=not reported.