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Asthma Australia activates emergency plan to provide free asthma medication for cyclone affected communities


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Thursday, 30th March 2017

BRISBANE: Asthma Australia is working in partnership with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to provide information and extra supplies of medication, donated by GSK, to pharmacies in cyclone affected areas.

People with asthma in Queensland struck by cyclone Debbie are warned that extreme weather conditions can trigger asthma symptoms.

In the Proserpine, Bowen and Airlie Beach areas hit by the storm, selected pharmacies will dispense free blue reliever medication based on individual need assessed by a pharmacist.

Strong winds can stir up pollen particles, mould spores, dust and other allergens and sudden changes in weather can also cause asthma symptoms to flare-up.

Residents are warned to be vigilant and if they observe someone having breathing difficulties to get them help as quickly as possible.

“It is important that people know the Asthma First Aid steps to help themselves or someone else in an asthma emergency.

“It is also vital that all people with asthma carry their reliever medication at all times and continue to take their preventer medication regularly. We understand that as people need to leave their homes quickly it is easy to leave medications behind. We are urging people in affected areas to speak to their community pharmacist who will have a supply of free blue reliever medication to distribute to the community,” said Peter Anderson, CEO of Asthma Foundation Queensland and New South Wales. 

The situation will continue to be monitored and more supplies of blue reliever puffers will be dispatched if needed.

If people find their reliever is not working, or only lasts a few hours, they should seek urgent medical advice by calling 000 for an ambulance.

When cleaning up after the storm, people with asthma should wear a face mask to help protect them against mould, pollen and other allergens that may have been stirred up by the storm. Wet conditions can also encourage later mould growth that may trigger asthma.

Important contacts:



Media enquiries - Annette Stenhouse 0416 861 732

Dr Peter Anderson is available for interview

About Asthma Australia

For over 50 years Asthma Australia and Asthma Foundations have been the leaders in asthma health care, research and support. Asthma Australia delivers evidence-based preventative health strategies to over 200,000 people every year and provides support, training and resources to the primary health care sector. They fund vital basic science and population health research contributing to national and international understandings of asthma and how best to manage the disease.

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