The ACT health authority has issued an alert for Canberra, warning of the possibility of severe thunderstorms increasing the risk of an asthma event over the next two days.
The ACT Health Directorate is warning Canberrans, especially those with asthma and hayfever, to take extra precautions on Sunday and Monday as potentially severe thunderstorms roll in.
The thunderstorm-induced asthma happens when high grass pollen levels combine with strong winds from thunderstorms and can cause severe asthmatic reactions from some people.
"Not all thunderstorms produce an asthma event, and thunderstorm asthma is a rare event. However, people who suffer from hay fever and/or asthma are encouraged to be vigilant over the next two days for any worsening of their condition," the directorate said.
"Where possible, avoid being outside during a thunderstorm - especially in the wind gusts that come before the storm. Go inside and close your doors and windows. If you have your air-conditioning on, turn it onto recirculate."
The asthma events can lead to severe symptoms and have previously been linked to a number of deaths.
ACT Health urges anyone experiencing severe symptoms not relieved by usual treatments to seek urgent medical advice or call 000 in an emergency.