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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2014, Article ID 504017, 4 pages
Research Article

An Overview of Thunderstorm-Associated Asthma Outbreak in Southwest of Iran

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Azadegan Avenue, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 61936-73116, Ahvaz, Iran
2Departement of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonology, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
3Department of Immunology, Ahvaz Jundishapour University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

Received 10 April 2014; Revised 16 May 2014; Accepted 7 June 2014; Published 29 June 2014

Academic Editor: Evelyn O. Talbott

Copyright © 2014 Arash Forouzan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to report the characteristics and treatment strategies of all patients with acute bronchospasm who were presented to the emergency departments of Ahvaz, Iran, following the occurrence of a thunderstorm on November 2, 2013. A total of 2000 patients presenting with asthma attacks triggered by thunderstorm were interviewed and an initial questionnaire was completed for each individual. After twenty days, patients were asked to complete a supplementary questionnaire, but only 800 of them accepted to do so. The majority of subjects was aged 20–40 years (60.5%) and had no history of asthma in most cases (60.0%). The symptoms had started outdoors for 60.0% of the participants. In most patients, the onset of the condition was on November 2. Short-acting β2-agonist (salbutamol) and aminophylline were the most commonly prescribed medications in the emergency department. Upon the second interview, 85.3% of the patients were still symptomatic. Overall, 63.6% did not have a follow-up visit after hospital discharge, although all of them were referred to the specialist. The findings of the present study suggest that thunderstorm-associated asthma could affect young adults with no gender priority, with or without asthma history, which put a strain on emergency medical services.