An Introduction to history of measlesThe Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) is the part of the U.S. government responsible for U.S. Quarantine Stations and issuing quarantine orders. It is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.
The U.S. Quarantine Stations work at 20 major ports of entry where most international travelers arrive, to help prevent contagious diseases from entering and spreading through the United States. Because of US federal regulations, pilots of ships and planes must report to CDC any illnesses and deaths before arriving into the United States. Quarantine public health officers work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and emergency medical services to also detect sick travelers entering the country. Quarantine officers also screen imported animals and biologics to ensure safety from diseases dangerous to humans.
Activities of history of measlesU.S. Quarantine Stations are staffed with public health and medical officers from the Quarantine and Border Health Services Branch. They usually consist of a small group of staff, office space, and patient isolation rooms.
Human healthWhen illnesses are reported to CDC at ports of entry, quarantine officers are the first responders. They assess health situations with the goal of both protecting communities from disease spread and directing sick travelers to appropriate care. These officers decide whether sick travelers can enter the United States or continue to travel. Quarantine officers collect medical information from new arrivals, including immigrants, refugees, parolees, and asylees and inform local health departments in their destination locations about health issues that need follow-up.
Medical inadmissibility can be based on four conditions: a communicable disease of public health significance, a physical or mental disorder with harmful behavior, drug abuse or addiction, or, for immigrant visa applicants, lack of required vaccinations. These are further divided based on a physician panel into Class A conditions that require a waiver for admission, and Class B conditions do not preclude admission but require follow-up.
CDC works closely with airline and ship companies that transport people and cargo to the U.S. ports of entry. Quarantine officers coordinate with airlines, cruise lines, and port officials to investigate illness reports and track the spread of disease.For example, if a sick passenger is on a flight, CDC will work with the airlines, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and health departments or international ministries of health to contact travelers who were exposed to the sick person as per CDCs disease protocols. This is known as a contact investigation.
Certain quarantine stations respond to emergency requests from hospitals to provide certain unavailable emergency drugs for botulism, malaria, and diphtheria. Quarantine officers also work with port partners to plan and prepare emergency responses and for mass migration emergencies.
Quarantinable diseasesAs a federal agency under the US Department of Human and Health Services, CDC can legally detain, medically examine, and release a person who may have a contagious disease that is quarantinable. Quarantinable diseases are determined by Executive Order of the US President. As of 2020 there are nine quarantinable diseases:
Viral hemorrhagic fevers (such as Ebola)
Severe acute respiratory syndromes (such as SARS, MERS, COVID-19)
Types of flu (influenza virus) that could cause a pandemicSeveral vaccine-controllable diseases are not on the list, including measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox.
Based on their health assessments, quarantine officers may stop travelers from entering the United States or from continuing to travel, or send them to a hospital for treatment, or connect with a local or state health department for follow up.
CargoQuarantine officers routinely monitor animals and cargo entering the United States that may pose a risk to public health. They inspect live animals, including dogs, cats, monkeys, bats, turtles, ticks, mosquitoes, snails, and civets. CDC also regulates the import of animal products like bushmeat, hunting trophies, untanned goat skin drums, and uncured leather. Biological research samples, blood and tissue samples, and human remains are also screened for disease.
Locations of history of measlesThe 20 Quarantine Stations are located at major ports of entry where most international travelers enter the country. Two stations, El Paso and San Diego, are located at land-border crossings, while the other 18 are at international airports. Each station is responsible for all the ports of entry in its assigned region, in addition to the major port where it is located.
The Boston and Dallas stations are as of 2020 unstaffed, and are respectively under the jurisdiction of the New York and Houston stations.
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