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Division of Global Migration and Quarantine’s Accomplishments

October 2011-September 2012

Protecting the health of our communities in a globally mobile world

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) works 24/7 to keep Americans safe by preventing the introduction and spread of infectious disease into and within the United States. From October 2011 through September 2012, DGMQ saved lives and protected Americans by putting science into action, keeping communities safe through health security and preparedness, and strengthening communities through partnerships with state and local health departments.

Refugee receiving a single-dose presumptive treatment for Strongyloides infection.

Refugee receiving a single-dose presumptive treatment for Strongyloides infection.

DGMQ Puts Science into Action

  • DGMQ strengthened overseas tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and treatment by expanding the use of the 2007 Culture and Directly Observed Therapy (CDOT) TB Technical Instructions to 62 countries. In 2012, use of the CDOT TB Technical Instructions for screening immigrants and refugees resulted in a 200% increase in diagnosis and treatment for TB cases and an annual cost savings of more than $30 million in U.S. health care costs.
  • DGMQ completed a one-year trial treatment program to prevent Strongyloides infection for more than 6,000 Burmese refugees resettling to the United States from Thailand. Strongyloides is a parasitic infection causing gastrointestinal illness and in severe cases can lead to death. The results of the trial program will lead to expanding this effort to cover other U.S.-bound refugees.
  • DGMQ vaccinated over 10,000 U.S.-bound Burmese refugees for measles, mumps, and rubella, because of their exposure to an outbreak of measles while living in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Following evaluations conducted in 2010-2011, DGMQ modified protocols for communicable disease contact investigations on airplanes to improve cost-effectiveness. Changes in the TB investigation protocol resulted in an estimated 50% decrease in work burden to state and local health departments without increasing health risks to travelers.
    Map of GeoSentinel surveillance sites.

    GeoSentinel surveillance sites, which helped to identify the largest recorded Sarcocystis infection outbreak in humans.

  • DGMQ’s partnership with GeoSentinel, a worldwide network for monitoring travel-related illnesses, led to the discovery of the largest recorded Sarcocystis infection outbreak in travelers returning from Tioman Island, Malaysia. This disease is typically found in animals, and little is known about how it affects humans. The partnership with GeoSentinel is providing clinicians with new information to help protect the health of overseas travelers.

DGMQ Keeps You Safe through Health Security and Preparedness

  • DGMQ coordinated the development of The Technical Guidelines for United States-Mexico Coordination on Public Health Events of Mutual Concern, endorsed by the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and the Mexico Secretary of Health. The guidelines call for the two neighboring countries to work together on shared public health events and emergencies, such as outbreaks of disease that cross borders.
  • By training over 3,300 Customs and Border Protection officers, DGMQ enhanced its ability to detect communicable diseases in people and CDC-regulated animals and animal products entering the United States, resulting in responses to 1,020 illness reports. DGMQ also partnered with state and local health departments to conduct over 40 training exercises and provide upgraded plans to respond to reports of infectious diseases at the 329 ports of entry into the United States.
    A girl covers her nose and mouth wiht a tissue while sneezing.

    A girl covers her nose and mouth with a tissue while sneezing, practicing one of several nonpharmaceutical interventions highlighted on

  • DGMQ developed a health profile for Bhutanese refugees resettling in the United States. With close to 65,000 Bhutanese refugees arriving in 2012 and an estimated 12,000 in 2013, this profile provides key health and cultural information that assists resettlement agencies, clinicians, and public health providers in facilitating appropriate medical screening and treatment for Bhutanese refugees.
  • DGMQ launched the Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) website, which provides information on preventive actions people and communities can take to avoid getting sick from illnesses like influenza (flu) and to limit the spread of flu during a pandemic.
  • DGMQ launched a CDC Travel Health Twitter channel @CDCtravel providing information to protect the health of U.S. residents traveling and living abroad. To date it has about 2200 followers.

DGMQ Strengthens Your Community

  • DGMQ awarded approximately $900,000 to state and county health departments, universities, and nonprofit organizations to conduct disease surveillance in refugee populations and evaluate health programs to support the detection, prevention, and control of diseases affecting refugees. The findings will be used by state and local health departments to determine policy changes for refugee health.
  • DGMQ staff in Hawaii helped coordinate the rapid on-the-ground response to dengue outbreaks in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, facilitating a unified outbreak response by U.S. federal agencies and the governments of these island nations.
  • DGMQ provided technical assistance to agencies serving Iraqi refugees and conducted an investigation of suicides in Bhutanese refugees to understand suicide risk factors and improve the mental health status of Iraqi and Bhutanese refugees in the United States. The recommendations were used to enhance access to care, help communities where the suicides occurred create a standardized suicide reporting system, provide suicide prevention and awareness trainings, encourage nonmedical interventions, and conduct outreach to refugee communities.
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