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Division of Global Migration and Quarantine's Accomplishments

October 2012 - September 2013

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) puts science into action – working 24/7 to protect the health of U.S. communities.

In today's globally connected world, one infected person can carry a disease from any place in the world to another within 24 hours. DGMQ's initiatives support CDC's commitment to save lives and protect people through global health security.


DGMQ surveillance initiatives serve as critical early warning systems for the emergence of biological threats, preventing the spread of disease into the United States.

Women carrying water in Dadaab refugee camp

Women carrying water in Dadaab Refugee Camp.

  • Cholera can be life-threatening. DGMQ's laboratory surveillance in Dadaab refugee camp identified cases of infection with Vibrio cholerae O1, the bacterium that causes cholera, before any clinical cases were reported by physicians. The discovery of these cases enabled DGMQ and its partners to take preventive action and avert a large-scale outbreak.
  • DGMQ began a surveillance program for diarrheal diseases along the Kenya/Somalia border (and within southern Somalia) which gives public health responders the opportunity to collect information, study data, and prevent the possible spread of disease.
  • DGMQ completed evaluations for communicable disease surveillance systems for the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which helped to further develop health information systems and surveillance in the Western Pacific.
  • DGMQ worked with partners to identify illness and notify nearly 2,000 airline passengers that they had been exposed to contagious diseases on flights, directing travelers to their providers for care, treatment, and vaccination.


DGMQ's response initiatives involve rapid and targeted interventions to prevent the spread of disease.

  • Polio was eliminated in the United States in 1979, but outbreaks have been occurring among displaced mobile populations in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa where the disease has not been seen in years. This rise in polio cases poses a global threat and increases the possibility that the disease may be brought into the United States. DGMQ joined partners to conduct mass vaccinations in Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp, and DGMQ led the implementation of a program to vaccinate all U.S.-bound Kenyan refugees. These programs prevent the spread of disease and protect Americans at home and abroad.
  • DGMQ delivered 110 life-saving medications for malaria and botulism to critically ill U.S. patients, saving precious hours in the treatment of these life-threatening conditions.
  • DGMQ mobilized to lead border and travel health preparedness initiatives to safeguard public health for a new strain of bird flu (H7N9) and a new virus in the same family as SARS coronavirus (MERS-CoV). DGMQ staff developed the following:
    • Man and woman at an airport reading a MERS-CoV health advisory on a TravAlert monitor

      Arriving international travelers read a MERS-CoV health advisory on a TravAlert monitor.

      guidance and communication materials for international travelers and U.S. citizens living in regions of the world affected by H7N9 and MERS-CoV;
    • protocols to investigate possible disease transmission on airplanes;
    • guidance and training for airport partners to heighten awareness about sick travelers and to facilitate reporting to CDC.


DGMQ's prevention activities save lives by preventing disease from coming into the United States and by protecting travelers abroad.

  • A pilot overseas vaccination and parasitic treatment program conducted in Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal, and Kenya prevents incoming refugees from acquiring vaccine-preventable diseases and cures them of intestinal parasites and malaria before their arrival in the United States. This DGMQ initiative also prevents the introduction of disease into the United States, reducing the burden on state and local health departments.
  • More than 36,000 refugees in the Mae La refugee camp on the Thailand/Burma border were vaccinated against cholera by DGMQ and international partners. Vaccinating refugees reduces the likelihood that disease will be introduced and spread into the United States.
  • DGMQ research, conducted with partners through Global TravEpiNet, a network of travel clinics, demonstrated that insurance providers can save substantial costs by focusing on malaria prevention rather than treatment.
    Yellow Book 2014 cover page
    App store download image
    Google play store download image
  • DGMQ published the 2014 CDC Health Information for International Travel (the Yellow Book) in print, ebook, app, and web formats. The Yellow Book is the definitive guide for travel-medicine providers seeking information about health risks around the globe and how to prevent them.
  • DGMQ's new and improved Travelers' Health website ( provides comprehensive, targeted content for travelers, clinicians, and high-risk groups.
  • Awareness is a key component of prevention. DGMQ expanded CDC's electronic messaging capability by equipping selected high-traffic airports and ports of entry with TravAlert monitors. These monitors provide up-to-date, disease-specific alerts to arriving international travelers. Monitors located at airports where quarantine stations are staffed can reach up to 139,000 international travelers each day and nearly 51 million a year.
  • Information, resources, and guidelines about U.S.-Mexico public health are at the forefront of DGMQ's comprehensive new website,
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