Managing Epidemics Handbook

June 8, 2020

Epidemics of infectious diseases are occurring more often, and spreading faster and further than ever, in many different regions of the world. The background factors of this threat are biological, environmental and lifestyle changes, among others. A potentially fatal combination of newly-discovered diseases, and the re-emergence of many long-established ones, demands urgent responses in all countries. Planning and preparation for epidemic prevention and control are essential. The purpose of this “Managing epidemics” manual is to provide expert guidance on those responses. The manual provides concise and basic up-to-date knowledge on managing pandemics. Specifically, it examines and explains in detail a total of 15 different infectious diseases and the necessary responses to each and every one of them. These diseases have been selected because they represent potential international threats for which immediate responses are critical. The manual focuses on practical and indispensable things to know about infectious diseases that are most important for national political and operational decision-makers; it also links readers to more exhaustive WHO guidance. It has been developed in parallel with the creation of the WHO MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on openWHO (


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