Current outbreaks and epidemics

What epidemics are spreading worldwide? What outbreaks are currently occurring in Switzerland? The FOPH publishes current status reports, FAQs and recommendations for the public on selected infectious diseases in Switzerland and abroad. 

The COVID-19 pandemic

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) triggered a pandemic which has also affected Switzerland. It was first detected in China at the end of 2019. In the weeks that followed, it spread within China and across the whole of Asia. Outside Asia, the virus first appeared in the USA at the end of January 2020. France, Germany and Italy reported the first cases after that. The virus spread rapidly all over the world. The first cases in Switzerland occurred in February 2020. In May 2023, the World Health Organization decided to end the international health emergency declaration.

COVID-19 remains a health risk that is being monitored along with other respiratory viral diseases such as influenza and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). You’ll find more information on the COVID-19 site.

On the FOPH Infectuous Diseases Dashboard you will find key figures on the current spread of SARS-CoV-2 as well as on the situation regarding COVID-19 diseases and the resulting burden of disease in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Current outbreaks in Switzerland

Switzerland repeatedly sees outbreaks of disease typically caused by salmonella, listeria and norovirus. Following a risk assessment, outbreaks of this sort are investigated by the cantons or the FOPH to determine the source. The goal is to take appropriate immediate action to bring outbreaks to an end as quickly as possible. The findings of investigations into outbreaks of this sort and other types of epidemiological studies are published in cooperation with the partners involved. Reports and media releases on completed studies can be found on the relevant FOPH site Status reports and media releases on current outbreaks are published on this site on an ongoing basis.

Current seasonal epidemics in Switzerland

In Switzerland two types of epidemics are recorded: epidemics lasting multiple years with relatively low numbers of cases, and seasonal epidemics with large numbers of cases. Seasonal pathogens are of great public interest because they can affect almost everyone.

Flu is a winter-seasonal epidemic viral disease. Lyme borreliosis and tick-borne meningitis (early summer meningoencephalitis) are epidemics that occur in spring and summer. Campylobacter infections are more common during the festive season in winter and in summer when people are barbecuing. The incidence of measles also follows a seasonal pattern; given that the aim is to eliminate measles, the focus here is also on shorter transmission chains. On this site the FOPH regularly publishes status reports on the relevant seasonal epidemics and places them in the context of previous years.

Epidemiological reports on long-term epidemics are published annually or every three to five years. These can be found under Overview of diseases.

Current outbreaks and epidemics worldwide

Worldwide we are seeing more and more novel epidemics, some of which even develop into global pandemics. Examples include influenza and AIDS. Sometimes infectious diseases that had become rare or had been only local suddenly start occurring all over the world. SARS, Ebola and Zika fever are examples of this. Such developments rapidly lead to a flood of information from different countries that has to be evaluated very quickly. Added to this are enquiries from concerned members of the public, the medical community and the media, particularly when it comes to travel. To meet this great need for information, status reports, FAQs and recommendations on epidemics that are relevant for Switzerland are published on this site on an ongoing basis. In this context the FOPH works within the framework of the 2005 International Health Regulations with the WHO, other countries, the committee of travel medicine experts and safetravel.

Last modification 18.03.2024

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Prevention and Healthcare Provision Directorate
Communicable Diseases Division
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