The World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) is an internet-based computer system that processes data on animal diseases in real time and shares these data with the international community. Access to the secure reporting platform is restricted to authorised users, namely the Delegates of WOAH Members and their nominated representatives, who report relevant animal disease information to WOAH via WAHIS.
The system has two primary components:
Early warning system
Informs the international community of relevant epidemiological events occurring in WOAH Members via alert messages.
Enables the monitoring of WOAH-listed diseases (presence or absence) over time.
Early warning system
When an important epidemiological event pertaining to terrestrial or aquatic animals occurs in a WOAH Member, the Member must inform WOAH by sending an immediate notification comprising the reason for notification, the disease name, the affected species, the geographical area affected, the control measures applied and any laboratory tests that have been carried out or are in progress.
To improve the scope and efficiency of the early warning system, WOAH Members are asked to immediately report to WOAH Headquarters events of epidemiological significance, in accordance with the Terrestrial and Aquatic Animal Health Codes.
After reception, verification and validation by WOAH, immediate notifications are published in the three official languages of WOAH (English, French and Spanish) under the heading Alerts and sent to subscribers of the WOAH-Info Distribution List, an electronic mailing list set up to facilitate the real-time dissemination of animal health information. This list is open to WOAH Delegates, WOAH Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres, international and regional organisations, as well as any institutions or individuals interested in receiving such information via subscription to our distribution list.
After having informed WOAH of a significant epidemiological event by means of an immediate notification, the Member must send weekly follow-up reports so that the event can be monitored as it evolves. In all cases, the Member must submit a final report to notify either that the event has been resolved or that the disease has become endemic. In both cases, the Member will continue to submit information in its six-monthly reports if the disease is on the WOAH List.
Six-monthly reports provide information on the presence or absence of terrestrial and aquatic animal diseases on the WOAH List, and the disease preventive and control measures applied. A new functionality was introduced in 2009 allowing Members to differentiate between domestic and wild species using different occurrence codes. This change was an important step forward in terms of improving the transparency of the animal health situation worldwide in domestic and wild species, without necessarily calling upon the setting up of unjustified trade barriers against Members notifying diseases occurring solely in wild animals. For diseases reported as being present in a country or territory during a given six-month period, the Member in question must provide quantitative data on the number of outbreaks, susceptible animals, cases, deaths, animals disposed of and animals vaccinated. For diseases that are present and notifiable in a country or territory, WOAH recommends that Members provide quantitative data by month and by first administrative division. Instead of waiting until the end of a given six-month period, Members may choose to enter data in WAHIS every month during that six-month period, thus providing the international community with the most recent information on the diseases that are present and deemed most urgent by Members.
In this respect, Members are given other options for entering information in WAHIS on diseases that are present: by month and for the whole country/territory, by first administrative level and for the entire six-month period, and by first administrative level for the whole country/territory. The choice of one or other of these options will depend on the national surveillance and monitoring systems in the country/territory in question and the type of information generated by these systems. These choices made by Members will be reflected in the way the WAHIS interface is presented whenever a request for information is made.
The two six-monthly reports of a given year are combined as part of the annual report for WOAH-listed diseases. In collaboration with WHO and FAO, Members are asked to complete the annual report once a year including information on non WOAH-listed diseases, the impact of zoonoses on humans, animal populations, the Veterinary Services personnel, national reference laboratories and their performed diagnostic tests and, when appropriate, vaccine manufacturers and vaccine production.
WAHIS makes global animal health information available to all through its public interface. This information can be easily consulted by country/region, disease or report type. WAHIS incorporates validated data since 2005. The WAHIS homepage gives an overview of the most recent events (immediate notifications) which are displayed on an interactive world map. Via this homepage, users can access the report management section, regular WOAH situation reports on African swine fever and High pathogenicity avian influenza, as well as an analytics section comprising specific dashboards for analysis.
Filter functionalities and data extraction have been enhanced to enable advanced searches. Dedicated dashboards allow users to search by disease, country or animal species. Additionally, the WOAH team of veterinary epidemiologists has been trained to use business intelligence software to build new dashboards if required. The public interface and back office are supported by improved mapping capabilities. Enhanced analytical features for each country are available via the back office, enabling countries to analyse the evolution of events and use their own information for policy development and risk-based decision-making. All information, including maps, can be exported in a variety of formats. Dashboards are built using Qlik Sense technology.
The platform uses Mapbox technology and data from the Global Administrative Areas Database (GADM). Advanced mapping tools include layer selection, legends, the ability to measure distance between outbreaks, the ability to draw an area around outbreaks, selection of an outbreak to view a summary of the event, annotations and exporting capabilities. Maps are exportable in different formats. In addition, from Release 2, users will be able to extract information from a layer or from a buffer zone around an outbreak.