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Messages for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Bujumbura, Burundi Message for U.S. Citizens

January 24, 2012
acid bug

The "Acid Bug" or "Nairobi Eye"

Acid Bug Infestation

The U.S. Embassy alerts all U.S. citizens living in or visiting Burundi to a local infestation of an insect commonly called “Acid Bug” or “Nairobi Eye.”  This insect does not bite, but if it becomes in contact with skin it leaves a toxic substance that produces significant blistering.  Secondary infection may result from ruptured blisters.  Try to avoid contact if you can, but if an insect is on your skin DO NOT SLAP THE INSECT AGAINST YOUR SKIN - FLICK IT OFF, and wash the area immediately.

An image of the insect is displayed above.

Excerpt from

Paederus species contain a toxic chemical (pederin) in their hemolymph which causes contact dermatitis in humans, usually as a result of slapping the beetle and crushing it against exposed skin.  The affected area becomes red, swollen, and itchy, causing the skin to peel when scratched.  Outbreaks of Paederus dermatitis have occurred in Africa, Asia, and South America.  You should not handle the Creechie Bug or Paederus Rove Beetle or you may experience contact dermatitis.  We would advise anyone who is unfortunate enough to become afflicted with contact dermatitis after an encounter with a Paederus Rove Beetle to seek prompt professional treatment.”

To obtain Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel notices, you may dial the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) from within the United States, and at 1-404-639-3534 from other countries, or visit its website.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Bujumbura web site.  You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.  Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at-1-202-501-4444 for callers 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). 

If you are going to live in or travel to Burundi, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.  It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.  You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date.  It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency. 

The U.S. Embassy is located on Avenue des Etats-Unis; the mailing address is B.P: 1720 Bujumbura, Burundi.  The phone number is (257) 22-20-70-00, fax (257) 22-22-29-26, and email  U.S. Citizens Services hours are Mondays and Wednesday from 09:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Fridays from 09:00 a.m. until 10:30, except on U.S. and Burundian holidays.  For emergencies after regular business hours, please call (257) 79-93-88-41.