Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, 2001-2018

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Research Centre for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 Infectious Hazards Management, World Health Organization, Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, Cairo, Egypt

3 Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK

4 Department of Arboviruses and Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers, Research Centre for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

5 Centre for Communicable Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran

6 Office of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Oman

7 Department of Animal Resources, Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Doha, Qatar

8 School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa

9 Ministry of Public Health, Doha, Qatar

10 Laboratory of Community Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Hygiene, Public Health Department, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco

11 Laboratory of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Clinical Research, Public Health Department, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco

12 Department of Experimental Pathology, Immunology and Microbiology Center for Infectious Diseases Research, American University of Beirut & Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon

13 University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA

14 Global Health Strategists & Implementers (GHSI), Islamabad, Pakistan

15 Infectious Hazard Management Department, World Health Organization, Kabul, Afghanistan

16 Communicable Diseases Control Department, Public Health Directorate Unit, Ministry of Health, Kuwait City, Kuwait

17 Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK


Countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) are predisposed to highly contagious, severe and fatal, emerging infectious diseases (EIDs), and re-emerging infectious diseases (RIDs). This paper reviews the epidemiological situation of EIDs and RIDs of global concern in the EMR between 2001 and 2018.
To do a narrative review, a complete list of studies in the field was we prepared following a systematic search approach. Studies that were purposively reviewed were identified to summarize the epidemiological situation of each targeted disease. A comprehensive search of all published studies on EIDs and RIDs between 2001 and 2018 was carried out through search engines including Medline, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, and ScienceDirect.
Leishmaniasis, hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) are reported from all countries in the region. Chikungunya, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), dengue fever, and H5N1 have been increasing in number, frequency, and expanding in their geographic distribution. Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which was reported in this region in 2012 is still a public health concern. There are challenges to control cholera, diphtheria, leishmaniasis, measles, and poliomyelitis in some of the countries. Moreover, Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever (AHF), and Rift Valley fever (RVF) are limited to some countries in the region. Also, there is little information about the real situation of the plague, Q fever, and tularemia.
EIDs and RIDs are prevalent in most countries in the region and could further spread within the region. It is crucial to improve regional capacities and capabilities in preventing and responding to disease outbreaks with adequate resources and expertise.


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Volume 11, Issue 8
August 2022
Pages 1286-1300
  • Receive Date: 04 February 2020
  • Revise Date: 02 November 2020
  • Accept Date: 08 February 2021
  • First Publish Date: 06 March 2021