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Emer O'Connell

Emer OConnell is a senior public health advisor at UKHSA, previously interim head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at Public Health England. Emer is a Consultant in Public Health with an interest in environmental public health. Her role is based in London, within the Health Protection and Medical Directorate of Public Health England.

Emer has a Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a PhD in Public Health and Population Science from University College Dublin. She focused her public health speciality training on health protection, spending most of the 5 year programme working within different teams across PHE. More recently, she spent a year working with Transport for London where she focused on the public health impacts of air quality.

Thunderstorm asthma and public health – looking back to move forward

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A potential episode of thunderstorm asthma was detected by UKHSA’s real-time syndromic surveillance in July 2012 with another reported in June 2021 and again in June 2023. This blog covers the science behind thunderstorm asthma and what are we doing to address it.