The International Health Regulations (IHR) is an agreement between 196 countries to work together for global health security, coordinated by WHO. Countries have agreed to build their capacities to detect, assess and report public health events, and to keep traffic and trade disruption to a minimum.

Article 2 Purpose and scope

The purpose and scope of these Regulations are to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks, and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade.


Below are listed all events since 15 June 2007 where the WHO established an Emergency Committee (articles 48-49). WHO determined some of the events to be a Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC) (article 12) and issued Temporary Recommendations (articles 15 and 17).

2009-10 IHR Emergency Committee concerning Influenza Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 [PHEIC]

2013- IHR Emergency Committee concerning Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus [Non-PHEIC]

2014- IHR Emergency Committee concerning ongoing events and context involving transmission and international spread of poliovirus [PHEIC]

2014-16 IHR Emergency Committee regarding Ebola [PHEIC]

2016 IHR Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations [PHEIC]

2016 IHR Emergency Committee on yellow fever [non-PHEIC]

2018 IHR Emergency Committee regarding the for Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo [non-PHEIC]

2018- IHR Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo [PHEIC]



Below are listed all Review Committees (articles 50-52) since 15 June 2007 that have reviewed aspects of the functioning of the IHR and whose reports have been transmitted to the World Health Assembly (WHA).

2010-2011: The Review Committee on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations (2005) in relation to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009

2014: The IHR Review Committee on Second Extensions for establishing national public health capacities and on IHR implementation

2015-16: The Review Committee on the Role of the International Health Regulations (2005) in the Ebola Outbreak and Response