Message for U.S. Citizens: Chikungunya Outbreak in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

by US Embassy
(La Paz, Bolivia)

February 24, 2015 - Message for U.S. Citizens – Chikungunya Outbreak in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. U.S. Embassy La Paz, Bolivia. This message informs U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Bolivia of a chikungunya outbreak in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

News reports on February 13 reported thirteen cases of chikungunya diagnosed in a seven day period in Santa Cruz.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are:

· High fever and joint pain,

· Headache,

· Muscle pain,

· Joint swelling, or

· Rash

Prevention

· No vaccine exists to prevent chikungunya virus infection or disease.

· Prevent chikungunya virus infection by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).

· The mosquitoes that spread the chikungunya virus bite mostly during the daytime.

Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites

· Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net.

· Help reduce the number of mosquitoes outside your home or hotel room by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets.

· When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

· Use insect repellents

· Apply screens to windows

For additional information you can check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/.

You can stay in touch and receive Embassy updates by checking the Embassy website, found here. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, by calling the 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).

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

Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Bolivia. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

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).

You can contact the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, via e-mail at ConsularLaPazACS@state.gov or by telephone at 591-2-216-8246 during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.) or 591-2-216-8500 after hours and on weekends.

The U.S. Embassy is located at 2780 Arce Avenue in La Paz, Bolivia, and is open to the public by appointment on Monday through Thursday from 08:00 to 12:30, and Thursdays from 14:00 to 16:00. You can schedule a non-emergency appointment by visiting our website.

The Embassy operates one Consular Agency in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Santa Cruz Consular Agency is located on Roque Aguilera Avenue #146 (3rd ring). You can contact the Santa Cruz Consular Agency by telephone at 591-3-351-3477, during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.).

If you wish to visit the Consular Agency for a non-emergency matter, please schedule an appointment through our website at: http://bolivia.usembassy.gov/service.html

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