Australia takes the next step in murdering people with thunderstorm asthma
There are a whole lot of animals and vegetation in Australia that want us dead, but now the atmosphere itself is killing people using thunderstorm asthma.
It’s already well documented that pretty much everything in Australia wants to kill you. And not just the general “you,” but you specifically. The continent has over 520 varieties of spiders alone, many of which are extremely poisonous. Hell, the nightmare-inducingly large spiders are one of the few friendly species.
And now, to top it all off, thunderstorms can also kill you. That’s just not fair.
The phenomenon is known as thunderstorm asthma, a condition that has killed at least eight in and around Melbourne, Australia, and sent 8,500 to the hospital.
Again, all from thunderstorms. Australia just upped the game.
By the way, originally our music expert and contributor Nate Harrison, an ex-pat turned Aussie, was going to write this article. He lives in Melbourne and has heard plenty about this. Then he suddenly disappeared…
Granted, it might have something to do with him going to “work,” but that’s unconfirmed.
Thunderstorm asthma specifically affects people that have asthma, or have less severe respiratory issues. to be fair, it isn’t limited to Australia, but sending 8,500 people to the hospital and nothing eight kills is, however, notable. There have been several reports of thunderstorm asthma around the world, but there is not one single cause. In general, it starts when heavy pollution, a high pollen count, soybean offloading, fungal spores, copper sulfate, or powdered sugar are unusually heavy in the air.
When these potentially harmful allergens rise up to the clouds shortly before a thunderstorm, they accumulate in the storm clouds. When the storm actually hits, it rains down the allergens in concentrated doses. Think of it like a pollen shrapnel bomb caused when the clouds break. When that happens, the entire area can cause severe reactions and repertory issues for the 30-60 minutes.
There are a few ways to combat a thunderstorm asthma attack if you can’t just stay inside and avoid it (although that’s no guarantee, given that the entire area is saturated with allergens). The most obvious is that if you are an asthma sufferer, make sure to have your inhaler with you. If you don’t have it, or if you don’t necessarily have asthma but the thunderstorm is still trying to kill you, over the counter antihistamines and other allergy medications can help, but only if taken before the storm. The allergens spread by a thunderstorm permeate the air and settle in the lower parts of the lungs. That means other remedies like nasal sprays won’t help at all.
Thunderstorm asthma isn’t contained to any one continent, but goddammit Australia. You already have an entire season where magpies randomly swoop down out of the sky and attack people like the movie Birdemic, and now you can kill several and hospitalize thousands through thunderstorms?
One day, Australia. One day.