Quarantine Stations at Ports of Entry Protecting the Public's Health   [open pdf - 31KB]

"The profusion of people and goods that daily traverse the globe disperse microbial threats in their wake, usually without intent to harm. Yet living things get infected along the way, and the lag time before signs and symptoms appear can be days, weeks, or months. These phenomenon and other forces intrinsic to modern technology and ways of life favor the emergence of new diseases and the reemergence or increased severity of known diseases. Meanwhile, the risk of bioterrorism has become a pressing national security issue. Taken together, these factors have stimulated calls for greater vigilance for microbial threats of public health significance at U.S. gateways. Some of those calls have focused attention on the number and"more importantly"the role of quarantine stations for human disease at U.S. ports of entry. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have quarantine stations at 8 of the United States 474 ports of entry (CRS, 2004; DGMQ, 2003). Unlike their namesakes, todays quarantine stations are not stations per se, but rather small groups of individuals located at major U.S. airports. Their core mission remains similar to that of old: Mitigate the risks to residents of the United States posed by infectious diseases of public health significance originating abroad. These quarantine station staff, their offices, and their patient isolation rooms are run by CDCs Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ)."

Copyright © 2005, National Academies Press.
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