New details have emerged about the increased risk of critical asthma symptoms for some groups of Asian migrants during thunderstorms.

People of East or South Asian background who migrate to Australia are at higher risk of experiencing asthma attacks and other allergies, a Victorian government health report has found.

Director of respiratory medicine at Monash University’s Eastern Health Clinical School, Professor Frank Thien, was one of the scientists involved in the research.

“People of Asian origin and Indian origin coming to Australia, migrating to Australia, do have increased risk of allergies, particularly hay fever and asthma, and that risk increases with the duration of stay in Australia,” Professor Thien said.

Extreme weather events also dramatically increased the risk.

Anna Kim Anderson first experienced an asthma attack during a thunderstorm in Melbourne eight years ago.

“I was having difficulty breathing, I felt a bit wheezy, I had a tight chest, and because I’d never had asthma before, I didn’t understand what it was,” Ms Anderson said.

Read the full story here.

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