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Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Pristina (Kosovo), Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Awareness (June 24)

Europe > Kosovo > Pristina

U.S. Embassy Pristina advises U.S. citizens that Kosovo is experiencing a cyclical outbreak of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), which is endemic to this area. National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo (NIPH) has recently reported 5 fatal cases of CCHF in the Malisheva/Malishevo, Rahovec/Orahovac and Gjakova/Gjakovica municipalities. Those most at risk are individuals with contact to livestock in endemic regions.

CCHF is a tick-borne disease in humans, with a high mortality rate. Fortunately, human illness occurs infrequently. A map of areas in Kosovo where the outbreaks are occurring is attached. In addition please see instructions from the CDC website about CCHF.

Signs and symptoms of the disease include:  sudden onset of high fever, headache, backache, and abdominal pain, small hemorrhages of the eyes, a type of rash in the mouth, and on the trunk of the body.

There is no safe and effective vaccine widely available for human use. People living in endemic regions should avoid areas where there are many ticks, particularly in the spring and summer. The following safety precautions are also recommended:

Wear light colored clothing that covers legs and arms;
If living in an infested area, check whole body regularly for ticks, remove ticks
gently but promptly;
Examine clothes regularly for ticks;
Use tick repellents on skin and clothing;
Tuck trousers into socks and keep sleeves rolled down;
Clean the areas well where food is prepared or served so as not to attract ticks;
Maintain neatness and cleanliness;
Keep pet areas clean, and sanitized, and
Check your pets frequently for fleas and ticks, and use flea & tick collars, and shampoos.
For health issues, include the following: 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.

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

Regularly monitor the State Department's website State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Kosovo at Country Specific Information for Kosovo.  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 from within 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). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App, available through the iTunes storeor the Google Play store, to have travel information at your fingertips.

U.S. Embassy Pristina is located at 30 Nazim Hikmet St. Arberia/Dragodan, 10000 Pristina and is open between 8AM-5PM, (381) 38-5959-3000. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is (381) 38-5959-3000. At this time U.S. Embassy Pristina provides only emergency services to American citizens. U.S. Embassy Skopje, Macedonia, provides all routine consular services such as passport and visa processing. The U.S. Embassy in Skopje is located at ul. Samoilova 21, 1000 Skopje and is open between 8AM-5PM, (389) 2-310-2000.