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12/17/2013 : Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Reported Outbreaks of Bubonic and Pneumonic Plague
 
December 17, 2013

The U.S. Embassy alerts U.S. citizens to reports of multiple outbreaks of bubonic plague, as well as unconfirmed reports of pneumonic plague, in several parts of rural northern and central Madagascar.  Although reports indicate these outbreaks are limited and remote, U.S. government personnel have been advised to limit travel through Soanirana Ivongo, which is the location of the ferry crossing to Île Sainte Marie, and to avoid rat-infested areas in the towns and villages in the periphery of Antananarivo.  The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor reports of such outbreaks closely, and advises U.S. citizens either traveling to or residing in Madagascar to be aware of local media reports and to consult Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel notices.  The Travel Alert for Madagascar remains in effect.

Plague, a disease transmitted to humans from rats and other rodents through a flea bite, has always been endemic in Madagascar.  There has been increased media attention given to a recent rise in plague cases and deaths in Madagascar.  Although unlikely to be a risk to travelers, plague is a concern for public health authorities caring for those living in impoverished, rat infested areas.  Those who reside in a region that has reported plague cases should take appropriate measures to prevent rats from entering their homes and avoid areas with significant rat populations, such as public waste facilities.

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 http://www.cdc.gov/travel.

The U.S. Embassy will provide updates as the situation warrants on the Embassy website and via Facebook and Twitter.  U.S. citizens should regularly monitor these sites and local media outlets for updates.  For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Internet website at travel.state.gov, where the Worldwide CautionTravel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found.  An archive of messages for U.S. citizens in Madagascar is available on the Embassy website.  Download our free Smart Traveler app, available through iTunes and the Google Play Store, for travel information at your fingertips.

U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  By enrolling, U.S. citizens gain access to vital security information and enable the U.S. Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

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, 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).

The U.S. Embassy in Madagascar is located at:

Lot 27 A Point Liberty

Andranoro-Antehiroka, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Telephone: [261] (20) 234-8000 (available 24-hours)

Fax: [261] (20) 234-8035
Web site: http://www.antananarivo.usembassy.gov/

U.S. citizens in need of urgent assistance should call the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy: 034-493-2854