Hunter locals with concerns about their lung health will have the chance to have their questions heard at a community seminar this evening.

The Hunter Medical Research Institute’s Breathe Easy seminar is offering talks on how to manage asthma  in the age of COVID-19 and the potential for future research in the area.

There’ll also be a Q&A session after the talks.

Professor Vanessa McDonald, a research leader in HMRI’s VIVA Program, says natural disasters like bushfires and thunderstorms are making regional Australia a bit of an asthma hotspot. 

“Disasters have significantly affected people with asthma,” Prof McDonald said. “For example, a few years ago there was the thunderstorm event in Melbourne, followed by bushfires and then COVID-19.”

“We know that a lot of people in the community who have asthma might not necessarily be doing all the right things to manage their asthma most effectively.” 

Prof McDonald says it’s important sufferers stay one step ahead of the disease.

“These things are not going to stop,” Prof McDonald said. “Bushfires will occur again.”

“We really need to be prepared about what the best approach to take is when these events occur, particularly on the lives of people with chronic diseases including lung diseases and cardiovascular disease.”

The seminar, running 6pm to 7pm this evening, is available online or face-to-face by registering at https://hmri.org.au/breathe-easy-asthma-and-lung-health-community-seminar-person-registration.