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In May 2005 the World Health Assembly approved an innovative and ambitious revision of the International Health Regulations, known as IHR(2005), in order to detect and control, in a timely manner, all public health events that may have a serious international impact. It represents a dramatic move from administrative notification by Member States (MS) to the World Health Organization (WHO) of cases of a limited list of diseases to a systematic analysis of health events of international concern, infectious or not [1]. The analysis of the public health events will take into account severity, unexpectedness, potential for international spread, and interference with international movement of people and goods. National focal points are to be identified in each MS to interact with WHO. The philosophy behind the new IHR is to promote early dialogue between MS and WHO, leading to early mutual risk assessment of events which may not necessarily have to be notified, depending on the results of the assessment and measures taken. WHO can also use informal sources to detect earlier events of international concern and then, together with the national focal point, conduct verification, risk assessment and implement appropriate measures.


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