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Binational Border Infectious Disease Surveillance Program (BIDS)

About BIDS

In 1997, CDC, the Mexican Secretariat of Health, and border health officials began developing the Border Infectious Disease Surveillance project based on the need for strengthened surveillance to monitor the spread of infectious disease in the border region. In 1999, the Binational Border Infectious Disease Surveillance (BIDS) Program was established.

As a binational effort, BIDS relies on local, state, and federal collaboration to enhance infectious disease surveillance, build border-region epidemiology and laboratory capacity, and strengthen binational communication systems to improve disease prevention.

CDC awards funding to BIDS sites at the local level, which carry out enhanced surveillance projects (sentinel- and population-based) with laboratory testing in the border region. This approach allows partners to:

  • Tailor surveillance to local disease priorities;
  • Focus on special populations such as binational or mobile populations;
  • Detect potential outbreaks through early case confirmation;
  • Provide public health interventions; and
  • Work with partners across the border to develop and strengthen data sharing and communication systems.

At the federal level, BIDS helped lead the development of the U.S. – Mexico Guidelines for Cooperation, so that epidemiologic and public health information is shared between the United States and Mexico in a timely manner consistent with the 2009 International Health Regulations. BIDS compiles surveillance data on priority diseases into border-wide reports, and supports border binational infectious disease meetings for partners on both sides of the border.