Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER)

A journey through 90 years of public health as witnessed by the WER

WHO/U. Zhao

WHO launched a special exhibition to celebrate WER's 90th anniversary at the HQ library on 1 April 2016. It invites visitors to embark on a journey through 90 years of public health as witnessed by the WER. Some of the milestones include major epidemics, technological breakthroughs, the ongoing battle against new and reemerging infectious diseases. Thanks to digitalization of the WHO film archive, visitors can watch documentaries at the vintage cinema corner. There are displays of historic artifacts and photo retrospectives, offering a glimpse of daily work of epidemiologists in the past.

The exhibition continues until 31 May 2016.

The Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) celebrates 90 years

On 1 April 1926, a small team of epidemiologists in the Health Office of the League of Nations, Geneva, laboured to bring forth the first Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER). The publication was tasked with a major mission: providing the world with information about disease hazards that, at that time, mostly travelled by sea: plague, cholera, yellow fever, typhus and smallpox.

Had they been alive today, it would be interesting to ask those epidemiological midwives whether they imagined that the WER would still be going strong, still informing the world about health threats, 90 years later.

fact buffet

Celebratory issue

Every Friday since 1926Historical review, outlook into the future, and more in this issue.

Read the issue


Big launch on April 1A journey through 90 years of the Weekly Epidemiological Record.

More about the exhibition

WER quiz

Do you know your WER?Take a quick quiz and find out how much you know about the WER.

Take a quiz

Interactive timeline: 90 years of public health as told by the WER

Related links

Contact information

Department of Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland