Melbourne thunderstorm asthma outbreak claims sixth life


A sixth person has died from an attack of thunderstorm asthma in Melbourne, and three more are still fighting for their lives in hospital.

The most recent victim, who has not been named, died on Saturday night in the city's eastern suburbs.

Five patients remain in intensive care in Melbourne hospitals. Three are considered critical.

Thunderstorm asthma attacks come after pollen particles multiply dramatically in thunderstorms, meteorologist David Brown says.

It's been one week since the unusual asthma attack outbreak overwhelmed the city's emergency and hospital services.

One of the victims in the outbreak a week ago had been waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance.

Twenty-year-old law student and life-long asthma sufferer Hope Carnevali was one of three people who died during a mass occurrence of thunderstorm asthma.

"Knowing if they had got there a little bit earlier that the situation might be different is very hard to deal with," her aunt Melissa Carnevali said.

Officials say the weather event put more strain on the health system than a mass casualty terror attack.