Binational Border Infectious Disease Surveillance Program (BIDS)

Phoenix midtown skyline with a Saguaro Cactus and other desert scenery in the foreground

Supporting local and state health departments to enhance surveillance and control of infectious diseases.

The BIDS program works closely with the four US states on the US-Mexico border to foster local, state, and federal collaboration to improve detection, reporting, and prevention of infectious diseases of binational importance. BIDS program also partners with the US-Mexico Border Health Commission, an organization committed to providing international leadership to improve the health and quality of life along the US-Mexico border. In alignment with the Global Health Security Agenda, BIDS projects address a wide range of diseases including COVID-19, influenza, tuberculosis, and vector-borne and foodborne diseases.

BIDS program’s goals:

Funding Recipients

CDC’s Division of Global Migration Health funds projects that align with the BIDS Program’s goals. State and local public health agency recipients can address unique epidemiologic and communication needs of the diverse and dynamic border region. CDC also provides technical assistance to funding recipients and facilitates coordination with the Mexican Ministry of Health.

In the map of the southern US and northern Mexico region, the US border states (from west to east) of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are highlighted and the Texas Public Health Regions 9/10, 8 and 11 are outlined. US border counties are emphasized on the map. Border counties (from west to southeast) in California include San Diego and Imperial; Arizona border counties are Yuma, Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise; New Mexico border counties include Hidalgo, Grant, Luna, Sierra, Doña Ana and Otero; Texas Public Health Region 9/10 includes the border counties of El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Reeves, Presidio, Pecos, Brewster, Terrell, Crockett and Sutton; Texas Public Health Region 8 includes border counties of Val Verde, Edwards, Kinney, Maverick, Real, Uvalde, Zavala, Dimmit, Frio, and La Salle; and Texas Public Health Region 11 include Webb, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Starr, McMullen, Duval, Brooks, Hidalgo, Kenedy, Willacy, and Cameron. A star symbol indicates the cities in which BIDS program officers are located (San Diego, CA; Imperial, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Las Cruces, NM; El Paso, TX; Uvalde, TX; and Harlingen, TX).

View Full Size PDF - 1 page

2020–2024 Funding Recipients:

BIDS Activities

BIDS partners implement and enhance surveillance, communication, and preparedness to identify and report binational disease cases, notify public health partners about shared cases, and exchange epidemiologic information.


Surveillance activities are tailored to local disease control priorities. BIDS partners may also conduct special projects to inform surveillance needs.

Examples include:

  • Surveillance for respiratory illnesses, including influenza and COVID-19, in border communities and border-crossing populations.
  • Conducting surveys at US-Mexico land ports of entry to understand border crossers’ mobility patterns, as well as knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to COVID-19 and other diseases.
  • Incorporating the binational variable [PDF, 88K, 5 pages] into surveillance databases for reportable conditions, which flags cases of disease related to Mexico that may require binational notification or coordination.
  • Investigation of binational contacts for tuberculosis cases in Imperial County, CA, and Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.

Communication and Preparedness

The BIDS program promotes systematic communication among partners and preparedness for infectious disease outbreaks. These activities prepare BIDS partners to detect and respond to illnesses and events of binational significance.

Examples include:

Technical Guidelines for United States—Mexico Coordination on Public Health Events of Mutual Interest

The Guidelines were developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Secretariat of Health of Mexico, and were formally adopted by both countries through a Letter of Intent at the World Health Assembly on May 22, 2012.

The guidelines provide a framework for

  • ongoing exchange of binationally relevant epidemiologic information, and
  • jointly coordinated responses to public health events that affect both countries.

The framework covers routine events, such as the regular movement of people across the border who require follow-up for tuberculosis, and emergency events, such as response to pandemic influenza.

BIDS Past to Present

US and Mexican federal health authorities have been collaborating since 1999 to detect and monitor infectious diseases along the US-Mexico border. Since then, the BIDS program has evolved to address changing epidemiological and laboratory priorities. To learn more about how BIDS started, read The U.S.-Mexico Border Infectious Disease Surveillance Project: Establishing Binational Border Surveillance (2003).