Message for U.S. Citizens: Avian Influenza (H5N1) Detected in Burkina Faso

The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that on Wednesday April 1, the Government of Burkina Faso announced that Avian Influenza (H5N1) had been detected in country in a press conference led by the Ministry of Livestock.

As of April 2, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported that cases had only been detected in Koubri (15 kilometers south of Ouagadougo) and four villages in the province of Sanguie (Central West Region), just northwest of Koudougou.  Over 115,000 poultry have been culled; however, there are currently no known illnesses of humans in Burkina Faso.

Avian Influenza (H5N1) virus – also called “H5N1 virus” – is an influenza A virus subtype that occurs mainly in birds, is highly contagious among birds, and can be deadly to them.

The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that, one cannot get avian influenza if proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs occurs.  It is recommended to avoid infected poultry or surfaces contaminated with secretions and excretions from infected birds.

To protect against infection when handling poultry the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends following the guidance below when handling poultry:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry and eggs.
  • Clean cutting boards and other utensils with soap and hot water to keep raw poultry from contaminating other foods.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure you cook poultry to a temperature of at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).  Consumers may wish to cook poultry to a higher temperature for personal preference.
  • Cook eggs until whites and yolks are firm.

The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor the situation with FAO and other international partners, as well as with the Government of Burkina Faso.

For more information on Avian Influenza please visit  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

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling or residing abroad enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Monitor the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution on State Department’s website.  Read the Country Specific Information for Burkina Faso.  For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist.”

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou is located in Ouaga 2000, Sector 15, on Avenue Sembene Ousmane, southeast of the Monument aux Héros Nationaux.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, the emergency after-hours number for the U.S. Embassy is (+226) 25-49-53-00.  Dial “1,” and ask to be connected to the duty officer.