Outbreaks and emergencies

Protect yourself from norovirus

WHO/Y. Shimizu

Norovirus is a common viral infection that causes diarrhoea and vomiting. This illness generally resolves within a couple of days without treatment. However, children, older people and those with compromised immune systems can have severe complications. Read our Q&A to learn more about the disease and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

Kiribati Butiraoi ferry disaster

30 January 2018 – The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) send their deepest condolences to the people of Kiribati following the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. This is a tragic event for the country of Kiribati, and we extend our thoughts to those affected families and communities.

WHO and UNICEF are closely coordinating with the Government of Kiribati to support the emergency response.

What would you do if faced with “cat flu”?

WHO/L. O'Connor

A mystery illness is spreading in cats. At the same time, doctors are starting to notice an increasing number of cat-owners and vets coming to their clinics, reporting flu-like symptoms…This is the hypothetical scenario that 30 countries and areas of the Western Pacific Region faced in this year’s Exercise Crystal, an annual simulation designed to test familiarity with the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and communication with the World Health Organization (WHO) during a large-scale outbreak.

Keeping the Region safe

The Western Pacific Region is a hotspot for emerging diseases and public health emergencies.

“Many of the significant health security events of the last decade occurred in the Western Pacific – just think of avian influenza and the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome to the Region,” said Dr Ailan Li, Regional Emergency Director for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme. “That is why it is critically important that the countries of the Western Pacific invest and prepare – so that when an outbreak occurs, they are better able to protect their citizens and the people of neighbouring nations. WHO is committed to helping countries do that.”


Public health events

Publications and documents

Fact sheet

Contact us

World Health Organization
Western Pacific Regional Office
P.O. Box 2932
1000 Manila
Email: outbreak@wpro.who.int