Thunderstorm Asthma Claims Six Lives; Three Battling For Life In Melbourne

First Posted: Nov 29, 2016 03:10 AM EST

The lethal and deadly thunderstorm asthma in Melbourne, Australia, has claimed its sixth victim.

The patient succumbed to the effects of thunderstorm asthma in an eastern suburb hospital. The identity of the victim is not made public yet.

According to recent reports, three more patients are critically ill and battling for their life.

Melbourne hospitals have recorded five others patients whose health is fading due to thunderstorm asthma. They are undergoing treatment in intensive care units.

Nearly a week has passed since the asthma attacks took Melbourne by storm.  Reportedly, 12 more patients are undergoing treatment at several hospitals in the city with respiratory and associated conditions, reveals Herald Sun.

Quick efforts are being taken alongside, and a thorough investigation has been ordered, confirms Health Minister Jill Hennessy. Ms. Hennessy stressed the need for a detailed probe in this matter.

The present government's slow action is criticised. Mary Wooldridge, opposition health spokeswoman said that the government needs to get its act together and fast. Their quick response to the tragedy is needed. The report after the detailed investigation is only expected in April, and this can be really late.

Ms. Wooldridge explained that communication systems seem to have failed in sending out timely alerts. Elaborating on this, she said that such a grave emergency situation did not receive the information dissemination it merited. There were no alerts to the media and no information was being communicated to people, reveals The Australian.

As a result, in just 24 hours, nearly 8,500 people began to be treated for asthma in several hospitals.

Ms. Woolridge said, "It's not good enough for (Premier) Daniel Andrews to say, 'we'll tell you what happened in five months' time'. We need to know whether our emergency response (system) has the capabilities it needs to cope with these situations."

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