Ethiopia Travel Alerts and Warnings

Health concerns, political unrest, natural disasters – find out what travel alerts or warnings are in place for Ethiopia, and how they may affect you.

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Men carrying recycled goods at "Mercato Market" in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Photo © Getty Images/Jakob Polacsek

Ongoing cholera outbreak in Ethiopia – February 2020

Recurrent outbreaks of cholera in Ethiopia have resulted in the deaths of 76 people and infected thousands of others since April 2019.

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute reports that the outbreak has been particularly severe in the Somali, Southern and Oromia regional states of the country.

Other regions affected by the outbreak include Tigray, Amhara, Harar, and the capital, Addis Ababa.

What is cholera?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, the cholera bacterium is usually found in water or food sources that have been contaminated by feces from a person infected with cholera and is unlikely to spread directly from one person to another. An outbreak is most likely to spread in places with poor sanitation, water treatment, and inadequate hygiene.

What are the symptoms?

Severe cases of cholera are characterized by watery diarrhea and vomiting, which, if left untreated, lead to rapid loss of body fluids and dehydration. 

How to avoid cholera

If you are traveling to Ethiopia soon, exercise high levels of personal hygiene. Speak to your travel doctor before you depart to see if a cholera vaccine is recommended.

If you get diarrhea, monitor your health closely and do not let it go untreated for too long – extreme cases can be deadly. Be extra cautious of where you eat, and only drink boiled or purified water. Say no to ice cubes in drinks.

Carry hand sanitizer, and wash your hands whenever you can.

Only eat food that is packaged or that has been freshly cooked and is served hot. Avoid fruit or vegetables that cannot be peeled, and don't eat raw salads.

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