Chikungunya Outbreak in Majuro

The U.S. Embassy in Majuro alerts U.S. citizens living and traveling in the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) that the Ministry of Health issued a special advisory regarding the outbreak of the chikungunya virus.  We urge U.S. citizens in RMI to be vigilant, use repellant, and destroy mosquito breeding areas, as appropriate.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), chikungunya is spread through infected Aedes mosquitoes which bite during daytime hours. It produces flu-like symptoms, including joint pain, fever, head and muscle aches and can also cause joint swelling and skin rashes.  There is no vaccine or medication to prevent chikungunya virus infection or any antiviral medication to treat it at this time.  Aedes mosquitoes frequently live inside homes and rest under beds, in closets and in bathrooms. Residents are advised to avoid mosquito bites using protective clothing, insect repellent, and periodic spraying with a commercially available insecticide.  Residents are also advised to remove standing water from their properties, especially gardens, in order to prevent breeding of infected mosquitoes. Individuals who believe they may have chikungunya should seek medical attention.

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.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in RMI 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 nearest U.S. embassy or 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, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for the Republic of the Marshall Islands.  For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” 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 in 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 to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Majuro is located at Mejen Weto, Oceanside and is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, 692-247-4011.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, outside of business hours, the emergency after-hours number for the U.S. Embassy is 692-455-8213.

Travel Alerts are issued to disseminate information about short-term conditions, either transnational or within a particular country, that pose significant risks to the security of U.S. citizens. Travel Warnings are issued when long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable lead the State Department to recommend that Americans avoid or consider the risk of travel to that country.

Security Messagefor U.S. Citizens: CDC Travel Notice for RMI Regarding Zika Virus (Feb. 26, 2016)

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Chikungunya Outbreak in Majuro (May 4, 2015).

See the current Worldwide Caution Travel.State.gov (updated March 3, 2016).

U.S. citizens living in or traveling to the region should monitor local weather reports and take other appropriate action as needed.

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: State of Emergency Due to Severe Drought Conditions (February 10, 2016)

Registration

The American Embassy encourages all U.S. citizens residing in the Marshall Islands to register with the Embassy’s Consular Section. The State Department has a secure online registration website which will allow you, as an American citizen, to record residence information that the State Department can use to communicate with you and assist you in case of an emergency. You are invited to register yourself and your family by accessing the site directly at the State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

You may also register at the Embassy’s consular section if you do not have access to the internet. Registration is not required, but is strongly recommended.

Registration provides the Embassy with an effective means of documenting your citizenship and locating you in case of an emergency. Registration has proven useful in locating a relative following the death in the U.S. of a family member, in verifying U.S. citizenship after the loss or theft of a passport, and similar circumstances.