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.
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.
- By reducing the number of airplane contact investigations by 50%, DGMQ saved $21,000, and state and local health departments saw a combined savings of $213,000. Based on a 2011 evaluation, the process was streamlined to modify infectious disease contact investigations for people exposed to TB on airplanes and to discontinue contact investigations for people exposed to mumps. These changes resulted in decreased program costs without increasing health risks to 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.
- 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.