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Informing U.S. Federal Public Health Preparation for Emerging Virus Pandemic Threats at Ports of Entry


The National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC) has the responsibility to integrate, analyze, and share the nationÍs biosurveillance information provided from capabilities distributed across the public and private sectors. The integration of information enables early warning and shared situational awareness of biological events so that critical decisions directing response and recovery efforts are well-informed and, ultimately, save lives. Emerging infectious diseases may disseminate internationally to the DHS workforce and/or domestic U.S. population. The growth of air travel facilitates rapid movement of people over international boundaries, enabling infected persons to travel great distances while potentially infectious to others. A large number of DHS personnel work in ports of entry in airports seaports and U.S. border states, encountering thousands of travelers a day and often encountering potentially infectious people in the course of their duties. The NBIC obtained intra- and interagency information to examine patterns of direct air travel to the U.S. from areas of activity for H7N9 flu and MERS-CoV in order to identify airports where U.S. personnel may more likely encounter potentially infectious travelers.


NBIC drew upon multiple sources of information to study ports of entry at higher risk for travelers who may have been exposed to emerging pandemic viruses, specifically Middle Eastern coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and (H7N9) Influenza A.

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