Time Zone: + 1 hour. No daylight saving time in 2008.
Tel. Country Code: 213
USADirect Tel.: 0
Electrical Standards: Electrical Current 220/50 (volts/hz). European Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plugs D, F.
Travel Advisory - Algeria
There is a low risk of malaria in North Africa and the Middle East, but other insect-transmitted diseases, such as leishmaniasis and viral infections, are potential threats. Safe water precautions, safe needle, and insect-bite prevention measures are important.
Dr. Rose Recommends for Travel to Algeria
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• U.S. Embassy
05 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi
El Biar, Algiers
Tel:  (021) 98-2000
• Embassy of Canada
18 Mustapha Khalef St
Ben Aknoun, Algiers
Tel:  (0) 70-08-30-00
• British Embassy
12 Rue Slimane Amirat (Ex Lucien Reynaud)
Tel:  21 23 00 68
HIV Test: Not required.
Required Vaccinations: Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required of all travelers >1 year of age arriving from any country in the yellow fever endemic zones.
Passport/Visa: Algeria is the second-largest country in Africa, with over four-fifths of its territory covered by the Sahara desert. The country has a population of 35 million people mainly located near the northern coast. Algeria is a multi-party, constitutional republic. Facilities for travelers are available in populated areas, but sometimes limited in quality and quantity.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: Passports and visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Algeria. The Algerian visa application must be typed. The Algerian Embassy no longer accepts handwritten visa applications. For further information on entry/exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria at 2137 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 265-2800. Visit the Embassy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria web site at http://www.algeria-us.org/ for the most current visa information.
Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine
Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required of all travelers >1 year of age arriving from any country in the yellow fever endemic zones.
Hepatitis A: Recommended for all unvaccinated travelers >1 year of age.
Hepatitis B: Recommended for all unvaccinated travelers who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment, such as for an accident, and for all adults requesting protection from HBV infection.
Polio: A one-time dose of IPV vaccine is recommended for any traveler >age 18 who completed the primary childhood series but never received an additional dose of polio vaccine as an adult. Available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV (Inactivated Polio Vaccine).
Rabies: Recommended for travelers spending time in remote locations or outdoors in rural areas where there is an increased the risk of animal bites. Pre-exposure vaccination eliminates the need for rabies immune globulin in the event of a high-risk animal bite, but does not eliminate the need for additional treatment with the vaccine.
Routine Immunizations: Immunizations against tetanus-diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine) and varicella (chickenpox) should be updated, if necessary, before departure. MMR protection is especially important for any female of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
• The new Tdap vaccine, ADACEL, which also boosts immunity against pertussis (whooping cough) should be considered when a tetanus-diphtheria booster is indicated.
Typhoid: Recommended for all travelers with the exception of short-term visitors who restrict their meals to major restaurants and hotels.
Yellow Fever: Required if traveling from an endemic zone and >1 year of age.
Hospitals / Doctors
The standard of medical facilities in Algeria varies. Public medical services and facilities in the capital, Algiers, vary from adequate to limited. Private medical facilities, especially in the capital, Algiers, are generally better equipped than public facilities and can meet normal international accreditation standards. Medical facilities in remote areas, including mountainous and desert regions, can be very limited or non-existent. You may wish to consider carrying limited medical supplies for personal use. Most medical practitioners speak French; English is not widely used. Facilities at private clinics are usually more comprehensive than at government hospitals.
NOTE: Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, cholera, typhoid, polio, plague, hepatitis, meningitis, tuberculosis and rabies) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to parasitic diseases such as schistosomiasis (bilharzia). Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhea.
You should be up-to-date on your immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers’ diarrhea or other infections. If you are taking regular medications, carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of your trip; you should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country - the equivalent drugs may not be available or may be of unreliable quality.
• You are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with specific overseas coverage. Policies should cover: ground and air ambulance transport, including evacuation to home country; payment of hospital bills; 24-hour telephone assistance. Serious illness or injury may require medical evacuation to Europe.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of hospitals & doctors at:
In the event of an emergency, travelers may want to be taken to the Ain Naadja Military hospital in the suburbs of Algiers. If there is the choice or the time, ask to be taken to a military hospital instead of the closest public one.
• Mustapha Pacha Hospital
Place du 1 Mai (near place de Mer)
Tel:  (2) 67 33 33
Preferred civilian hospital; ambulance service.
Destination Health Info for Travelers
AIDS/HIV: The prevalence of HIV in Algeria is estimated at 0.1%. As in other regions, known high-risk groups in the North Africa and the Middle East include men who have sex with men, female sex workers and their clients, injecting drug users and prisoners. The quality of the available data, however, is seriously lacking. No country in the Middle East conducts systematic surveys of groups at high risk of infection.
• Transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding: sexual contact with a high-risk partner; injecting drug use with shared needles; non-sterile medical injections; unscreened blood transfusions.
• The development of AIDS should not be a primary concern for the traveler. However, there may be a concern for a subset of travelers who may be exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through contact with another person’s body fluids or blood. Although travel has contributed in a general way to the global spread of AIDS, fear of traveling because of this disease is not warranted.
Accidents & Medical Insurance: Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travelers under the age of 55 and are most often caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; drownings, aircraft crashes, homicides, and burns are lesser causes.
• Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travelers.
• Infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travelers, but, overall, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.
• Travelers are advised to obtain, prior to departure, supplemental travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should provide for direct payment to the overseas hospital and/or physician at the time of service and include a medical evacuation benefit. The policy should also provide 24-hour hotline access to a multilingual assistance center that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care and determine if medevac or air ambulance services are required.
Avian Influenza (Bird Flu): In March 2007, the 1st case of avian flu was reported in the media. The case was detected in a hen from a domestic breeding site.
• H5N1 avian influenza is predominantly a disease of birds. The virus does not pass easily from birds to people and does not to pass from person to person (except in very rare cases of close contact with an infected blood relative). The risk to humans from avian influenza is believed to be very low and no travel restrictions are advised, except travelers should avoid visiting animal markets, poultry farms and other places where they may come into close contact with live or dead poultry, or domestic, caged or wild birds and their excretions. In addition, travelers are advised to:
1. Cook poultry and egg dishes thoroughly. (Well-cooked poultry is safe to eat.)
2. Wash hands frequently with soap and water if around poultry.
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend travel restrictions to countries experiencing outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza in birds, including those countries which have reported associated cases of human infection.
The usual vaccines against influenza are not protective against “bird flu.”
Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is somewhat effective in the treatment of H5N1 avian influenza. It seems to be effective in some cases, but may fail in others. Recently, resistant strains have been reported. In addition, the dosage and duration of treatment appear to be different in severe H5N1 cases.
• Update on Avian Influenza A: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/358/3/261
• The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in a number of countries throughout the world. For a list of these countries, visit the OIE website: http://www.oie.int/downld/avian%20influenza/A_AI-Asia.htm
Cholera: Sporadic cases of cholera may occur, but most travelers are at low risk for infection. Cholera vaccine is recommended only for relief workers or health care personnel who are working in a high-risk endemic area under less than adequate sanitary conditions, or travelers who work or live in remote, endemic or epidemic areas and who do not have ready access to medical care. Canada, Australia, and countries in the European Union license an oral cholera vaccine. The cholera vaccine is not available in the United States.
• The main symptom of more severe cholera is copious watery diarrhea.
• Antibiotic therapy is a useful adjunct to fluid replacement in the treatment of cholera by substantially reducing the duration and volume of diarrhea and thereby lessening fluid requirements and shortening the duration of hospitalization.
• A single 1-gm oral dose of azithromycin is effective treatment for severe cholera in adults. This drug is also effective for treating cholera in children. (NEJM:http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/354/23/2452)
Hepatitis: All travelers not previously immunized against hepatitis A should be vaccinated against this disease. Travelers who are non-immune to hepatitis A (i.e., have never had the disease and have not been vaccinated) should take particular care to avoid potentially contaminated food and water. Travelers who will have access to safe food and water are at lower risk. Those at higher risk include travelers visiting friends and relatives, long-term travelers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
• Hepatitis E is endemic but levels are unclear. Epidemics of hepatitis E have been reported in Algeria (Tanefdour, Algeria, 1986-1987). Sporadic cases may go unrecognized or under-reported. Transmission of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) occurs primarily through drinking water contaminated by sewage and also through raw or uncooked shellfish. Farm animals, such as swine, and also deer and wild boar, may serve as a viral reservoirs. (HEV is one of the few viruses which has been shown to be transmitted directly from animals through food.) In developing countries, prevention of hepatitis E relies primarily on the provision of clean water supplies and overall improved sanitation and hygiene. There is no vaccine.
• The overall hepatitis B (HBsAg) carrier rate in the general population is estimated at 2% to 7%. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from non-sterile medical or dental injections, and acupuncture; from unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin lesions of an infected person. The average traveler is at low risk for acquiring this infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for: persons having casual/unprotected sex with new partners; sexual tourists; injecting drug users; long-term visitors; expatriates, and anybody wanting increased protection against the hepatitis B virus.
• Hepatitis C is endemic with a prevalence of 0.2% in the general population. Most hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread either through intravenous drug use or, in lesser-developed countries, through blood contamination during medical procedures. Over 200 million people around the world are infected with hepatitis C- an overall incidence of around 3.3% of the population of the world. Statistically, as many people are infected with HCV as are with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Influenza: Influenza is transmitted from November through March. Flu vaccine is recommended for all travelers over 6 months of age.
Insect-Bite Prevention: You should exercise insect-bite prevention measures, depending on your itinerary. For maximum protection, apply a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin (30% concentration recommended), apply permethrin spray or solution to your clothing and gear, and sleep under a permethrin-treated bednet (if available).
• Until recently, DEET-based repellents have been the gold standard of protection against mosquito and tick bites. The CDC and the World Health Organization now recommend 20% picaridin as an effective DEET alternative. You can achieve nearly 100% bite protection by using a properly-applied DEET or picaridin skin repellent and wearing permethrin-treated clothing.
Leishmaniasis: Transmission occurs primarily from April to October. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is endemic in the semiarid steppe region of the northern part of the Algerian Sahara. Major risk areas include Biskra (especially near Sidi Okba), Bechar (especially near Abadla), and M’sila Provinces. Visceral leishmaniasis (kala azar) occurs primarily in the less humid central and eastern parts of the northern coastal mountainous area; major foci are in the Grande Kabylie Region (Tizi Ouzou and Bejaia Provinces) and in the vicinities of Alger, Boumerdes, and Constantine.
• The parasites that cause leishmaniasis are transmitted by the bite of the female phlebotomine sandfly. Sandflies bite in the evening and at night and are usually found in forests, the cracks of stone or mud walls, or animal burrows.
• All travelers should take measures to prevent sandfly bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin, permethrin (spray or solution) to clothing and gear, and sleeping under a permethrin-treated bednet.
Malaria: Risk is limited to one small focus in Sahara region in Ihrir (Illizi Department). Malaria chemoprophylaxis is not recommended for visits to any part of this country, but mosquito-bite precautions should be observed.
A malaria map is located on the Fit for Travel website, which is compiled and maintained by experts from the Travel Health division at Health Protection Scotland (HPS). Go to www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and select Malaria Map from the Algeria page on the Destinations or A-Z menu.
• Malaria is transmitted via the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Anopheles mosquitoes feed predominantly during the hours from dusk to dawn. All travelers should take measures to prevent evening and nighttime mosquito bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin, applying permethrin spray or solution to clothing and gear, and sleeping under a permethrin-treated bednet. DEET-based repellents remain the gold standard of protection under circumstances in which it is crucial to be protected against mosquito bites that may transmit disease. Nearly 100% protection can be achieved when DEET repellents are used in combination with permethrin-treated clothing.
• You should consider the diagnosis of malaria if you develop an unexplained fever during or after being in this country.
Mediterranean Spotted (Boutonneuse) Fever (African tick type): Presumed risk occurs primarily in suburban coastal areas. This rickettsial disease (caused by R. conorii) is transmitted by the brown dog tick and is a common tick-borne disease in North Africa. Other names for this disease are Marseilles fever, Kenya tick typhus, Indian tick typhus, and Israeli tick typhus.
Travelers, especially to rural areas, should avoid dogs (as well as sheep and goats), which harbor the infective ticks. Infective ticks are also found on grass and around hay stacks, and along wild animal paths.
• Tick-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin and permethrin (spray or solution) to clothing and gear.
Other Diseases/Hazards: Brucellosis (humans acquire infection by ingestion of unpasteurized milk products or, less commonly, ingestion of poorly cooked meat from infected animals (especially prevalent in goats), by direct or indirect exposure to the organism through mucous membranes or broken skin, or by inhalation of infectious material)
• Echinococcosis (a major health problem countrywide, particularly in rural and highland areas)
• Fascioliasis (liver fluke disease; the mode of transmission is the faecal–oral route. Parasite eggs are passed in the faeces of infected animals or humans and contaminate water where they develop within snails. The snails release mature larvae that attach to vegetation, such as watercress, water lettuce, mint, and parsley. Humans typically become infected by eating these aquatic or semi-aquatic plants, or drinking water contaminated by the parasites)
• Hantavirus (cases of suspected Hantavirus reported from Bel Abbès region in 2007)
• Intestinal helminthic infections (roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm diseases, as well as strongyloidiasis, are common in rural areas and among lower socioeconomic groups)
• Plague: As of July 2007, the Ministry of Health has reported a total of 10 cases of plague of which 8 have been laboratory confirmed. These include 8 cases of bubonic plague and 2 of septicemic plague, of which one was fatal. Eight additional cases are under investigation.
• Relapsing fever (tick- and louse-borne)
• Typhus (louse-borne epidemic typhus reported in a native Algerian, who lived in France but had visited friends and family Msila, a small town in east central Algeria, for 3 months)
• Sandfly fever (elevated risk in the coastal region and the steppe region of the northern part of the Algerian Sahara. Viral illness transmitted by sandflies, the same insects that transmit leishmaniasis. Symptoms may include fever, frontal headache, lethargy, malaise, retroorbital pain, conjuctivitis, photophobia, neck rigidity, low back pain, myalgia, meningitis, encephalitis, and confusion)
• Typhoid fever (An outreak of typhoid fever was reported in August 2007 from Djelfa province, 300 km south of Algiers, causing 36 cases. In January 1996, an outbreak of typhoid fever, caused by a damaged sewer pipe that contaminated the drinking water, was reported from Ain Taya, 20 km east of Algiers)
Rabies: About 20 to 30 rabies cases are reported yearly. Human rabies is usually transmitted by dog bites, but bites by jackals and foxes should also be considered dangerous. Pre-exposure rabies vaccine is recommended for those persons anticipating an extended stay, for those whose work or activities may bring them into contact with animals, especially when in a remote location where medical care is not readily available, or when extra protection is desired. Children are considered at higher risk because they tend to play with animals and may not report bites.
• Clean any animal bite thoroughly with large amounts of soap and water and seek qualified medical care. Prompt medical evaluation and treatment of any animal bite is essential, regardless of your vaccination status. Pre-exposure vaccination eliminates the need for rabies immune globulin, but does not eliminate the need for additional doses of vaccine.
Schistosomiasis: Risk is present year-round. Urinary schistosomiasis occurs in two areas. One area occurs in the north, primarily in the Mitidja Plain near Alger, and also at Khemis El Khechna. The other area occurs in the southeast, in the Tassili N’Ajjer region. Schistosomiasis is transmitted through exposure to freshwater streams, rivers or lakes during activities such as wading, swimming, and bathing. Schistosoma larvae, released from infected freshwater snails, penetrate intact skin to establish infection.
• All travelers should avoid swimming, wading, or bathing in freshwater lakes, ponds, or streams. There is no risk in chlorinated swimming pools or in seawater.
Travelers' Diarrhea: All water sources in Algeria should be considered potentially contaminated. We recommend that you boil, filter or purify all drinking water or drink only bottled water or other bottled beverages and do not use ice cubes. Avoid unpasteurized milk and dairy products. Do not eat raw or undercooked food (especially meat, fish, raw vegetables—these may transmit intestinal parasites, as well as bacteria). Peel all fruits.
• Wash your hands with soap or detergent, or use a hand sanitizer gel, before you eat. Good hand hygiene helps prevent travelers’ diarrhea.
• A quinolone antibiotic, or azithromycin, combined with loperamide (Imodium), is recommended for the treatment of diarrhea. Diarrhea not responding to antibiotic treatment may be due to a parasitic disease such as giardiasis, amebiasis, or cryptosporidiosis.
• Seek qualified medical care if you have bloody diarrhea and fever, severe abdominal pain, uncontrolled vomiting, or dehydration.
Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is a major public health problem in this country. Tuberculosis is highly endemic in Algeria with an annual occurrence was greater than or equal to 40 cases per 100,000 population. Tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted following inhalation of infectious respiratory droplets. Most travelers are at low risk. Travelers at higher risk include those who are visiting friends and relatives (particularly young children), long-term travelers, and those who have close contact, prolonged contact with the local population. There is no prophylactic drug to prevent TB. Travelers with significant exposure should have PPD skin testing done to evaluate their risk of infection.
Typhoid Fever: A typhoid fever outbreak has been ongoing since August 2007 in the Djelfa region, with 36 confirmed cases reported. Typhoid is the most serious of the Salmonella infections. Typhoid vaccine is recommended for all people traveling to or working in North Africa, especially if visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives where exposure might occur through food or water. Current vaccines against Salmonella typhi are only 50-80% protective and do not protect against Salmonella paratyphi. Travelers should practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions even if vaccinated.