Public health interventions involving travelers with tuberculosis--U.S. ports of entry, 2007-2012.
Authors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
Every day, approximately 950,000 international travelers arrive in the United States. The Secretary of the U.S. Department of health and Human Services is authorized to prevent the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases by travelers into and within the United States. The Secretary, through the CDC director, delegates this authority to CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ). Of the communicable diseases for which federal quarantine and isolation are authorized by executive orders of the president, infectious tuberculosis (TB) is encountered most commonly by DGMQ's network of quarantine stations at major U.S. ports of entry. Although legal immigrants and refugees undergo U.S. State Department-mandated TB screening overseas, CDC receives approximately 125 reports each year of arriving travelers with active TB, including foreign visitors, foreign students, and temporary workers (CDC, unpublished data, 2012). This report describes two cases that illustrate the TB control and prevention activities of quarantine stations. Such activities, including issuing federal isolation orders, restricting travel, arranging safe transport for patients across state lines, and conducting airline contact investigations, support CDC's mission to limit the spread of infectious disease from travelers.
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