Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Increase in Reports of Dengue Infection

November 15, 2016

Embassy Ouagadougou’s Interdisciplinary Health Team has been made aware of an increase in reports of Dengue in and around Ouagadougou.  Symptoms of Dengue can be very similar to malaria and include flu-like symptoms such as:  high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, rash and mild bleeding from the nose or gums, or easy bruising.  If you think you may have Dengue, or are experiencing these symptoms, please contact your personal health care provider immediately.

There is no vaccine or medication which can prevent Dengue.  Dengue is a viral disease spread to humans through an infected mosquito.  Unlike malaria, mosquitoes that spread Dengue bite during the day.

The best preventive measure against Dengue is to minimize the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.  Measures include applying insect repellent containing 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin, wearing long sleeves when feasible, use of air conditioning and window and door screens to reduce the risk of mosquitoes coming indoors, and eliminating the places around your home where mosquitoes lay eggs, primarily artificial containers that hold water.

There is no specific medication for the treatment of Dengue infection.  Treatment is aimed at relieving the symptoms, getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, and taking over-the-counter acetaminophen for relief of headache and pain.

Occasionally, Dengue infection can develop into a more severe form called Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF), which can be fatal if unrecognized and not properly treated in a timely manner.  Warning signs of DHF include severe abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, vomiting blood and black, and tarry stools.  If you experience any of the warning signs, notify your personal health care provider immediately.

A list of medical providers in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso can be found on the Embassy website.        

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

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Burkina Faso 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 U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou, in Ouaga 2000, Sector 15, on Avenue Sembene Ousmane, southeast of the Monument aux Heros Nationaux,  at (+226) 25-49-53-00, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday.  If you are a U.S. citizen in an emergency situation after normal Embassy operating hours, please contact the Embassy, dial “1,” and ask to be connected to the duty officer.
  • 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).
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