The health surveillance stations at points of entry in Brazil under the revised International Health Regulations - IHR/2005

  • Gregis C
  • Pascalicchio F
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Background: The recent revision and update of the International Health Regulations, IHR (2005), provides a new approach to deal with international reaction to public health events and to ensure global health security. Therefore, it is a priority to build, strengthen and to mobilize the necessary resources. The National IHR Focal Point must notify within 24 hours all events which may constitute a public health emergency of international concern. This study aim to assess the effectiveness of Health Surveillance Units at points of entry in Brazil regarding health control of international travelers and epidemiological investigation conducted in accordance with the IHR (2005). Methods: It was analyzed the public health events notified to the Health Surveillance Units at points of entry that occurred in the first year after IHR (2005) entry into force in accordance with the attributes of usefulness, sensitivity, timeliness, and stability, and their relation with Malaria imported cases into Brazil at the same period. Results: Since 1975, Brazil has a broad national epidemiologic surveillance system to reporting infectious and no-infectious diseases and that enables the assessment and control of these events timely. Until 2007, the main activity at points of entry was the supply of the yellow fever vaccine and its verification when an international traveler was arriving from an affected country. At the first year, 26 suspected events of public health concern were reported by points of entry to central office after 4.2 days average, such as unknown death (6 events), chickenpox (5), malaria (4), tuberculosis (2), outbreaks of foodborne illness (2), and one of rubella, hanseniasis, acute fever illness, hepatitis, norovirus, conjunctivitis and accident. At the same time, 203 Malaria imported cases occurred among 30 percent of employees and 60 percent of cases arriving from Africa. Conclusion: The structure of the health surveillance at points of entry in Brazil has changed after the IHR/2005 implementation. The low sensitivity for detection of events in points of entry are in agreement with the relevant literature. There is the necessity of further research on imported cases of notifiable diseases and improvement of the investigation and notification to the central level.




Gregis, C., & Pascalicchio, F. V. (2010). The health surveillance stations at points of entry in Brazil under the revised International Health Regulations - IHR/2005. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 14, e133–e134.

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