DGMQ in Action

Graphic of International Travel

DGMQ focuses on reducing illness and injury in US residents traveling internationally and living abroad. By providing the most up-to-date health information on their destinations, DGMQ helps travelers stay healthy before, during, and after their trips. DGMQ provides international travel health advice, including vaccine recommendations and requirements, behavioral precautions, and advice for specific events abroad.

Amid a yellow fever outbreak in Brazil, DGMQ worked with the US Food and Drug Administration to make an imported yellow fever vaccine (Sanofi Pasteur’s Stamaril) available in the United States and avert a vaccine shortage. The Stamaril vaccine is available in nearly 250 clinics in all US states and territories. DGMQ’s proactive planning and coordinated response ensured US travelers had access to yellow fever vaccine to protect them when they visited countries where yellow fever is still a risk.

DGMQ’s Day-to-Day Activities

  • Analyzes disease spread to communicate to the public changing disease risks at destinations throughout the world
  • Creates and updates travel notices to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues and protective measures related to specific destinations
  • Updates the CDC Health Information for International Travel (or the CDC Yellow Book) which is a major medical reference, providing the most current and comprehensive travel health guidelines for physicians

Nearly one quarter of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria. DGMQ has tools to prevent TB importation into the United States. Coordination between the United States and other countries about patients with TB improves treatment outcomes for people crossing international borders.

Since the implementation of enhanced overseas TB screening starting in 2007, there has been a decrease in TB among foreign-born people in the United States. By detecting and treating TB to cure people overseas, overseas screening of immigrants and refugees can reduce US healthcare costs.

DGMQ’s Day-to-Day Activities

  • Collaborates with overseas physicians who perform pre-departure medical screenings for immigrants and refugees headed for the United States. TB screening is a required part of the medical exam.
  • Improves TB care by using the CureTB program to connect globally mobile patients with the care they need across the globe. The program also educates patients individually on TB to increase their likelihood of completing treatment.

DGMQ prevents the importation and spread of infectious diseases into the United States through its regulatory authority. This authority allows DGMQ to focus on public health preparedness as well as respond to health emergencies. Quarantine station staff have the critical job of responding to sick travelers moving through ports of entry. They also monitor certain cargo that might harbor communicable disease – for example, dogs, human tissues, as well as monkeys and other nonhuman primates. With this infrastructure, DGMQ is prepared to expand these services in emergency responses that may require additional activities at ports of entry.

For the past 50 years, DGMQ’s comprehensive quarantine system has been on the front line of public health to protect the United States from communicable disease threats, both foreign and domestic.

DGMQ’s Day-to-Day Activities

Protects public health with the support of 20 quarantine stations located at the busiest US international airports, land borders, and seaports, as well as covering over 300 ports of entry across the United States. For example, quarantine stations

  • Respond to sick travelers who arrive in the United States
  • Restrict the importation of animals and products that may carry diseases
  • Send lifesaving drugs on the next flight to hospitals caring for patients with diseases such as malaria, botulism, or diphtheria.
  • Alert travelers at airports about disease outbreaks abroad and steps they can take to protect themselves and others.