Binational surveillance allows public health on both sides of the border to investigate potential exposures and cases of infectious diseases. Our relationship with our border state of Sonora, Mexico has been long standing and we have had shared a surveillance system since 2007.

In early August, representatives from the Office of Border Health and the Bureau of Epidemiology and Disease Control visited our partners at the State of Sonora’s Ministry of Health in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.  This valuable face-to-face meeting allowed our staff members to provide hands-on training for our Sonoran users that access one of Arizona’s disease surveillance systems, the Medical Electronic Disease Surveillance Intelligence System (MEDSIS), gather feedback about existing communication pathways for bi-national cases, and continue to strengthen our relationship with our Sonoran counterparts.

Providing access to MEDSIS for our border partners allows for improved communication and coordination and the fast implementation of control actions in order to prevent the further spread of disease.  Shared surveillance information, such as risk factors or exposure information, within a single system allows both sides of the border to be better informed about the health of Arizonans and Sonorans.