Seven disease outbreaks have been declared as Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC):
-2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic
-2014 Polio outbreak
-2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa
-2016 Zika virus epidemic
-2019 Ebola epidemic in Congo
-2020 COVID-19 pandemic
-2022 Monkeypox outbreak
These outbreaks raise such concerns as they pose a significant risk to public health, as they have the potential to spread internationally and require a coordinated international response. As a result, PHEIC are declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) under the International Health Regulations (IHR) to provide procedures for countries to prevent, prepare, and respond to public health emergencies to eradicate the disease globally.
In my opinion, any infectious disease or condition that is unknown to scientists and poses a significant threat to public health officials could lead to PHEIC in the future. There are no proper vaccines or treatments available for these emerging diseases, resulting in difficulties in controlling the spread of disease. COVID-19 is a good example of this case, as it spreads rapidly and no proper treatment, posing a serious threat to public health around the globe, resulting in lead to PHEIC for 3 years.