"In recent years, the statement that diseases know no borders has become a truism, validated by infectious disease threats such as SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome], avian influenza, and drug-resistant tuberculosis. These diseases repeatedly cross national borders and pose immediate threats to the United States. Humanitarian emergencies, including the earthquake in Haiti, flooding in Pakistan, and famine in the Horn of Africa, are not isolated incidents but global crises which can sometimes have immediate and long-term effects throughout the world. It is also increasingly recognized that a one-time response is often not adequate and investments must be made in public health reconstruction in order to be better prepared for future emergencies. As emphasized in the Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference of 2011, the human and financial devastation of infectious diseases are still an ever-present danger to the world. In short: investments in global health security matter now more than ever. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines global health security as the reduction in vulnerability of people around the world to new, acute or rapidly spreading risks to health, particularly those that threaten to cross international borders. President Obama's National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats (2009) similarly defines global health security as the reduction in threats from outbreaks of infectious disease whether natural, accidental or deliberate in nature. While the U.S. has made substantial progress with partner nations to implement disease surveillance programs and respond at the source, the threats posed by emerging pandemics remain a challenge to global security, threatening economies and increasing political instability. CDC's [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] global disease detection and emergency response activities help protect the global community from urgent public health threats and mitigate humanitarian emergencies. CDC health experts overseas collaborate with ministries of health (MOH) to not only keep their people safe, but also protect Americans against the spread of disease to the U.S. CDC's global disease detection and emergency response activities have enhanced global health security since 2004 with current tasks focusing on: 1) Detecting and containing emerging health threats 2) Deploying CDC experts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at country request 3) Building capacity in support of the International Health Regulations (IHR) 4) Promoting policies for public health and health security 5) Responding to complex humanitarian emergencies."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://stacks.cdc.gov/