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Warden Messages

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens

August 19, 2011

U.S. Embassy Bujumbura, Burundi

This Emergency Message is to alert all U.S. citizens living in or visiting Burundi to an outbreak of Cholera in the country.  The outbreak originated in Cibitoke province and has now spread to Bujumbura Mairie, including Kanyosha and Musaga.  Emergency medical facilities have been erected in Musaga to treat infected persons.  Additionally, an ambulance is available to transport sick persons from their homes to a clinic.

It is recommended that individuals take the following precautions to
reduce the risk of infection:

  • Do not eat fresh fruit or vegetables when dining in restaurants.
  • Be aware of the source of the water you drink, and do not consume tap water.
  • Only drink water that has been distilled or boiled (rolling boil for 3 minutes).
  • Sanitize your fruits and vegetables at home using bleach water:
  • Scrub/wash off all dirt
  • Soak in a dilute bleach solution (2 tbsp bleach per 4 liters water) for 10 minutes
  • Rinse in distilled or boiled water
  • Air dry
  • Wash your hands often using both soap and warm water.
  • Advise your domestic staff to take the same precautions.

More information about Cholera can be found at the Center for Disease
Control's (CDC's) web page on Cholera at

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.  If you don't have internet access, we have a toll-free call center for updates -- 1-888-407-4747 -- in the U.S. and Canada, or from other countries on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  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
(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.