In recent years, a succession of new and reemerging infectious diseases have caused outbreaks and pandemics that have affected thousands of people worldwide: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS, 2003), Avian Influenza H5N1 (2005), Pandemic Influenza H1N1 (2009), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV, 2013), and the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The World Health Assembly (WHA), the governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO), has adopted a number of protocols aimed at improving worldwide reporting and monitoring of disease outbreaks that might cause global pandemics. In 2005, the WHA amended these protocols—referred to as the International Health Regulations (IHR)—to expand the list of diseases that “constitute a public health emergency of international concern” and enhance global capacity to detect, prevent, and respond to global disease threats.
Date of Report: December 10, 2014
Order Number: IF10022
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