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Halting infectious disease outbreaks at their points of origin is one of the best and most economical ways of saving lives and protecting U.S. citizens. The Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy (GHSD) monitors potential public health events of international concern and serves as policy advisor and incident manager for the State Department’s response to infectious disease outbreaks as part of a whole-of-government effort.

Working with U.S. embassies, GHSD mobilizes resources – expert, technical, financial, and in-kind – across the U.S. government and international public and private sector partners to support host government-led preparedness and response efforts. GHSD engages foreign governments to reduce barriers to effective outbreak responses, make science-based decisions that prevent outbreak spread, and mitigate unproductive response measures that interfere with travel and trade. GHSD engages the World Health Organization and international partners to improve governance, coordination, and accountability in the response to health emergencies.

Effective outbreak response requires preparedness efforts that incorporate lessons learned from past outbreaks. GHSD collaborates with other U.S. government partners to train U.S. and foreign officials and conduct outbreak response exercises. This includes developing protocols, agreements, and standard operating procedures to facilitate international deployment of U.S. government resources and personnel in future outbreaks. Preparedness is critical for responding to outbreaks quickly and stopping them at their source – before they become pandemics.

The State Department’s work responding to infectious disease outbreaks is highlighted by recent responses to COVID-19, mpox, Ebola, and Marburg. As long as infectious diseases such as these are spreading anywhere, they’re a threat to people everywhere. That’s why the United States catalyzed political momentum and enhanced coordination to close gaps in the global COVID-19 response through accelerating access to COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. The United States exercised diplomatic leadership in the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its secondary impacts while strengthening global biosecurity infrastructure to address COVID-19 and future health-related threats.

COVID-19 Response and Recovery:

COVID-19 Vaccine Donations:

U.S. Department of State

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