Washington Funds Bioterror Defenses on Mexican Border

The United States will put $5.4 million toward an effort to enhance disease detection capabilities on the border with Mexico, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said Friday (see GSN, Dec. 11).

An improved early warning system could help detect both naturally occurring outbreaks and bioterrorism attacks, according to the department.

The money will be sent to six Mexican border states and the Mexican Secretariat of Health. Thompson made the announcement during the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission’s annual meeting.

“Disease and illness recognize no political boundaries and that’s why it’s imperative that our countries continue to work together to safeguard the health of those along both sides of the border,” Thompson said. “Early warning surveillance and prompt sharing of findings is a public health and national security imperative for both of our nations,” he added (Health and Human Services Department release, Dec. 12).

December 15, 2003
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The United States will put $5.4 million toward an effort to enhance disease detection capabilities on the border with Mexico, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said Friday (see GSN, Dec. 11).