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Messages for U.S. Citizens

Meningitis

According to the World Health Organization, Ethiopia is currently at the peak of the meningitis transmission season, which extends through March and April up to the beginning of May. Suspected cases of meningitis were reported in Southern Nation, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) and Oromia Region. So far this year cases were recorded in close to 60 woredas (local municipalities) across 14 zones of SNNPR and Oromia, with upsurges of cases in 16 woredas of SNNPR and Oromia. Woredas reporting increased cases of meningitis include Arbaminch Zuria, Halaba, Hawassa town, Dale, Shebedino, Gorche, and Wonsho in SNNPR, and Arsi Negele, Shalla, Shashemene Town, Shashemene Rural, Dodolla, Siraro, Wondo, and Gedeb Assassa in Oromia Region. 

 In light of these findings, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa recommends that U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Ethiopia avoid travel to these areas unless they have been vaccinated against meningitis within the past three years. If you were vaccinated recently, do not travel to these affected areas for at least 14 days after receiving the vaccination. (Meningitis vaccinations do not take effect for 14 days.) All U.S. Mission personnel who have not been vaccinated for meningitis are advised against travel to the affected areas. You should consult a health care professional if you have specific questions.

  

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

If you are going to live in or travel to Ethiopia, 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. 

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa’s 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 Warning, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well, or you can download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App for travel information at your fingertips. If you don't have internet access, current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or for callers from other countries, 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 Addis Ababa is located at Entoto Street, P.O. Box 1014. The Consular Section of the Embassy may be reached by telephone: +251-111-306000 or e-mail: consacs@state.gov, and is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

 For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call +251-111-306911 or 011-130-6000 and ask to speak with the duty officer.