United States Embassy Niamey, Niger
The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that on September 21, the Government of Niger confirmed an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF). At this time, the outbreak is thought to be confined to the Tahoua region. The outbreak was detected through both human and animal cases over the past three to four weeks.
As of September 22, there have been 52 confirmed human cases and 21 deaths. Most of the affected people were in direct contact with infected livestock. A crisis control committee has been formed by the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organization to monitor the situation and distribute personal protective equipment supplies to health centers. A quarantine hospital has been designated in Tchintabaraden.
RVF is a fever-causing viral disease, most commonly found in domesticated animals such as camels, goats, cows, and sheep. Humans can be infected with RVF from infected mosquitos. However, the majority of human infections result from direct exposure to blood, bodily fluids, or organs of infected animals. The majority of cases of RVF infection are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. Less than 10% of those infected have severe symptoms, and the overall fatality rate is less than 1%.
If you live or plan to travel to the north and north east of Niamey, it is recommended that you take the following precautions to avoid possible RVF infection:
- Practice stringent hand hygiene, and if possible carry hand sanitizer with you;
- Avoid contact with livestock including, but not limited to, camels, goats, cows, and sheep;
- Avoid places where butchering of animals takes place;
- Do not consume fresh or unpasteurized milk;
- Do not consume undercooked meat;
- Take steps to avoid mosquito bites including sleeping under a bed net, wearing long pants or skirts and long-sleeved shirts, using insect repellant and mosquito coils, and limiting unnecessary outdoor activities during the mornings and evenings when mosquitos are most active.
To obtain Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel notices, call the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) from within the United States, or 1-404-639-3534 from overseas, or visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.
For further information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Niger Country Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the S. Embassy in Niamey, Rue des Ambassades, Niamey, Niger, at +227-20-72-26-61, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +227-99-49-90-66.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).