Arizona and Sonora have a long history of collaborating on many projects over the years. We long ago understood that disease doesn’t stop at the border. Arizona and Sonora were the 1st states along the U.S.-Mexico Border to share information on cross border cases in an organized way. Since 2008, we’ve been sharing this information electronically with Sonora Secretaria de Salud epidemiologists via our MEDSIS (Medical Electronic Disease Surveillance Intelligence System)- providing a secure, two-way communication of real-time information so Arizona and Sonora can take action to prevent further disease spread.
In October of 2012, CDC brought all four border states together to pilot information sharing of bi-national case to include the federal level of both countries, CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine and Mexico’s Dirección General de Epidemiología. At this year’s Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists meeting, our experience provided support to successfully pass (by vote of all state and territorial epidemiologists) a policy to add a binational variable to the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS).
Because of the long history of bi-national case sharing, Arizona and Sonora have provided an example of best practices in North America. This regular sharing of information on bi-national cases helps to protect the health of residents on both sides of the border. We just posted a report on bi-national tracking of infectious disease.