Report   DETAILS

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Cotonou (Benin), Lassa Fever Outbreak

Africa > Benin

The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that the Ministry of Health in Benin announced one confirmed and one suspected case of Lassa Fever in Tchaourou (Borgou region) and Tanguieta (Atacora region). This message is for informational purposes only.


Lassa Fever is a rare but potentially life-threatening viral hemorrhagic disease. The risk of contamination is low, but can occur if someone comes into contact with an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids. Lassa Fever cannot be spread through casual contact, including skin to skin contact, without exchange of bodily fluids. Those at highest-risk would be health care workers treating patients in facilities known to have Lassa Fever and family members caring for infected patients.


Early diagnosis and supportive care are essential. You should consult a medical professional if you have been in direct contact with an infected person within the past three weeks and have symptoms of Lassa Fever, which include: fever, chest, stomach or back pain, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, or mucosal bleeding. For more information on Lassa hemorrhagic fever, please visit the CDC website at


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


For further information:


  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Benin.


  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.


  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou. The U.S. Embassy in Cotonou is located on Marina Boulevard and is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Embassy's mailing address is 01 BP 2012, Cotonou, Benin. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is (229) 21-30-06-50.


  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).


  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.