International Health Regulations (IHR)

Switzerland applies the International Health Regulations drawn up by the WHO in order to protect itself against certain serious threats to public health. Should such a threat arise, it coordinates its response with the WHO member states.

The functioning and aims of the IHR

The International Health Regulations govern international cooperation for the control of infectious diseases. They apply to any event which could constitute an acute threat to public health, whether this be of a natural, accidental or deliberate origin and whether biological or chemical agents, or ionising radiation, are involved. One of the main objectives of the IHR is to combat the global spread of infectious diseases, without unnecessarily reducing the flow of persons and goods.      

Entry into force at global level and application in Switzerland

The revised International Health Regulations (IHR) came into force at international level on 15 June 2007. The Federal Council approved the regulations without any reservations and designated the Communicable Diseases Division of the FOPH as the point of contact. Since 2016, the revised Epidemics Act has incorporated the IHR and governs the application of these regulations in Switzerland.

Last modification 30.08.2018

Top of page


Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
International Affairs Division
Global Health Section
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Berne
Tel. +41 58 464 55 65

Print contact