Shepparton an asthma hot spot

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Asthma is more prevalent and more serious in Shepparton compared with Melbourne according to a local respiratory specialist.

Dr Adrian Chazan, a respiratory and sleep specialist at Wyndham House Clinic in Shepparton, said he dealt with a variety of conditions but local patients often presented with more serious cases of asthma.

Having worked in both Shepparton and Melbourne for the past six years, Dr Chazan said there were a few reasons asthma was more prolific in the Goulburn Valley.

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‘‘Shepparton is a hot spot for allergies due to a mix of grass and pollen,’’ he said.

‘‘It also tends to be a lot more of a drier and hotter climate here.’’

Dr Chazan said it was also due to the industry in the area where workers were often exposed to substances that worsened asthma.

‘‘For farmers there’s also a major risk for asthma due to animal products,’’ he said, and added being around animals could trigger asthma.

A 31-year-old Shepparton man has been arrested following a series of incidents in Shepparton. Police allege the man rammed a Ford Falcon into a number of businesses on Goulburn Valley Hwy, Maude St and Wyndham St, starting about 6.30pm.

‘‘The asthma here is more common and more severe.’’

He, along with respiratory scientist Emily Francois, can now diagnose asthma and many other respiratory conditions in Shepparton, removing the need for patients to travel elsewhere.

‘‘We’ve just developed a lung function testing lab, which is a big deal,’’ Dr Chazan said.

‘‘It’s a big project we’ve been working on for a long time.’’

A variety of tests can reveal a patient’s respiratory function and consequently their condition can be managed accordingly.

The clinic also works with GPs to diagnose their patients and the service is bulk-billed.

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