Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Increased Risk of Malaria

The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that Cabo Verde is experiencing a serious and continuing rise in the number of malaria infections.  While most cases have been reported in the capital, Praia, Santiago Island, new cases are being reported on other islands.  As of September 14, more than 200 cases have been reported, which is the highest number recorded in nearly three decades.

As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now highly recommends following a regimen of effective anti-malarial medications and avoiding mosquito bites.  Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, and mefloquine are all appropriate antimalarial medications for Cabo Verde.  Not all prophylactic medications recommended by CDC are available locally.

As mosquitoes that carry malaria have nocturnal feeding habits, the nighttime hours between dusk and dawn present the highest risk for transmission.  Measures to reduce mosquito contact during critical hours include:

  • Remaining in well-screened or air conditioned areas. Avoid long outdoor activities at night when possible.
  • Using treated mosquito nets over beds.
  • Wearing clothing that covers most of the body and has been treated with mosquito repellent.
  • Using insect repellents containing appropriate levels of DEET or other recommended mosquito repellent.

Those who have been in an area with risk of malaria infection should seek medical attention as soon as possible if a fever develops, regardless of measures taken to prevent transmission.  Avoiding delays in the diagnosis and early treatment of malaria is critical.

To obtain 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.  Consult the following CDC resources:

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Cabo Verde Country Specific Information.
  • 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 Cabo Verde, located at Rua Abilio Macedo 6, Praia, Cabo Verde, at +238 260 8900, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Monday through Friday.  After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +238 991 3325.
  • 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).

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