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French Guiana

Capital: Cayenne

Time Zone: -3 hours. No daylight saving time in 2008..
Tel. Country Code: 594
USADirect Tel.: 0
Electrical Standards: Electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz). European Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plug D.

Travel Advisory - French Guiana

Travelers to Central and South America and the Caribbean need to protect themselves against mosquito-transmitted viruses, such as dengue and Zika, as well as nighttime biting mosquitoes in countries where there is  the threat of malaria. I recommend all travelers use a combination of DEET or Picaridin repellent on their skin and Permethrin fabric insecticide on their clothing for greater than 99% protection against mosquito and tick bites.

Dr. Rose Recommends for Travel to French Guiana

Resource Links

World Health Organization
Travel Health Services
Country Insights
Travel Warnings
Consular Information
Foreign Commonweatlh Office


The nearest U.S. Embassy is located in neighboring Suriname in the capital city Paramaribo at Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, telephone (011) (597) 472-900, website
There is no U.S. Embassy or Consulate in French Guiana. U.S. citizens requiring emergency assistance evenings, weekends, and holidays may contact an Embassy duty officer by cell phone at (011) (597) 088-08302.

There is no Canadian Embassy or Consulate in French Guiana. All diplomatic matters are handled by the Canadian Embassy in Paris.
• Embassy of Canada
35, avenue Montaigne
Paris, France
Tel: [33] (1) 44-43-29-00
Emergency toll-free to Ottawa: 00-800-2326-6831
Fax: [33] (1) 44-43-29-86

There is no British Embassy or Consulate in French Guiana. Diplomatic matters are handled by the British Honorary Consulate in Cayenne:
Tel: (594) 311034
Fax: (594) 304094

or the British Consulate-General
in Paris, France:
18bis rue d'Anjou
Tel: [33] (1) 44 51 31 00
Fax: [33] (1) 44 51 31 27

Entry Requirements

HIV Test: Not required.

Required Vaccinations: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travelers over 1 year of age arriving from ALL countries.

Passport Information

Passport/Visa: French Guiana is an overseas department of France. It is a sparsely populated tropical area located on the northern coast of South America. French is the predominant language; English is not widely spoken. Tourist facilities are available, especially in the larger cities such as Cayenne and Kourou, but in some instances are not highly developed.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: Passports are required for U.S. citizens entering French Guiana. Visitors who arrive by land or on a commercial air carrier with a return ticket may enter for up to 90 days without a visa. Visit the Embassy of France web site at for the most current visa information, or contact the Embassy of France at 4101 Reservoir Road N W , Washington, DC 20007; telephone (202) 944-6000; or the nearest French Consulate in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, New Orleans or San Francisco.

Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine

Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers >1 year of age not previously immunized against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for all non-immune travelers at potential risk for acquiring this infection. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; when receiving medical or dental injections, or unscreened transfusions; by direct contact between open skin lesions. Recommended for any traveler requesting protection against hepatitis B infection.

Influenza: Vaccination recommended for all travelers >6 months of age who have not received a flu shot in the previous 12 months.

Rabies: Recommended for travelers spending time outdoors in rural areas where there is an increased the risk of animal bites. Children are considered at higher risk because they tend to play with animals and may not report 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 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, such as business travelers and cruise passengers.

Yellow Fever: Yellow fever vaccination is required for all travelers arriving from ALL COUNTRIES.

Hospitals / Doctors

Medical care within French Guiana is limited and hospital facilities are available only in major urban areas.
All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers diarrhea or other infections; they should bring drugs for malaria prophylaxis, if needed according to their itinerary. Travelers who are taking regular medications should carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of their trip; they should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country.
• Travelers 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 Miami or elsewhere for treatment in a more advanced medical facility.

Medical facilities used by travelers include:

• Le Centre Médico-Chirurgical de Kourou
Hopital Pierre Boursiquot
Avenue des iles
Tel: [594] 327 676
Considered the best medical facility in the country. The Kourou centre is relatively modern hospital which provides a 24-hour emergency room as well as limited specialty services. Most of the doctors were trained in France and the hospital has been accredited by French authorities. This facility is on the coast about 40 miles from Cayenne.

• Le Centre Hospitalier Andrée ROSEMON
Tel: [594] 395 253
Government referall hospital with >600 beds; all specialties.

• Clinic Veronique
Tel: [594] 301 415
Medical/surgical facility; Ob/Gyn.

• Saint Laurent-du-Maroni
Tel: [594] 341 022

Destination Health Info for Travelers

AIDS/HIV: The majority of countries in the region have HIV/AIDS prevalence rates of less than 1%, but the prevalence among specific high-risk groups, such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and commercial sex workers, is often much higher. The heterosexual mode of HIV transmission predominates in French Guiana. Injecting drug use not a significant cause of HIV transmission in this country.
• 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 threat of HIV/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 the body fluids of another person or their 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.
• MEDICAL INSURANCE: 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.
Health insurance is essential.

Animal Hazards: Animal hazards include snakes (vipers), centipedes, scorpions, black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, banana spiders, pruning spiders, and wolf spiders.

Cholera: This disease is reported active in this country, 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:

Dengue Fever: Risk is present, primarily in coastal urban areas, with intermittent outbreaks/epidemics occurring. The last outbreak was reported in 2006, when up to 1,000 cases were reported weekly. Dengue is a mosquito-transmitted, flu-like viral illness widespread in the South America and the Caribbean and is the most common cause of fever in travelers returned from this region. Symptoms consist of sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash.
• Dengue is transmitted via the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours. All travelers are at risk and should take measures to prevent daytime mosquito bites.

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. Sporadic cases and outbreaks may occur, but go unrecognized. 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 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 1.5% 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.

Insects: All travelers should take measures to prevent both daytime and nighttime insect 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 at night.

Leishmaniasis: Cutaneous leishmaniasis has become a public health problem, primarily among people living in forested areas. Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis is occasionally reported. Visceral leishmaniasis has not been reported, but occurs in neighboring Brazil. Transmission of leishmaniasis occurs primarily from November through May with the highest risk of transmission during periods of lowest rainfall, October to December. Most cases of leishmaniasis occur in the eastern one-half of the country. U.S. military units undergoing jungle training have experienced attack rates exceeding 50% during a 3- to 4-week exposure.
• 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 present in all areas of this country year-round. The highest risk of malaria occurs near the borders with Brazil and Suriname. The risk of malaria is low in major urban areas. Falciparum malaria accounts for 70% of cases and chloroquine-resistant falciparum malaria is reported. The risk of falciparum malaria is greatest in the western areas bordering Suriname. The risk of vivax malaria is greatest in the east and along the coast.

Malaria map:

• 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.

Marine Hazards: Electric eels and various carnivorous fish (including piranha) may be found in the country’s fresh waters. Vampire bats are also present in this country and are known to transmit rabies. Portuguese man-of-war, sea wasps, and stingrays are found in the coastal waters and could be a hazard to swimmers.

Other Diseases/Hazards: Brucellosis (common; from ingestion of unpasteurized dairy products)
• Filariasis (Bancroftian variety; endemic in coastal urban areas)
• Chagas disease (occurs in rural areas, but few cases are actually reported)
• Leptospirosis
• Mayaro virus disease (transmitted by mosquitoes in forested areas)
• Myiasis (caused by bot fly larvae burrowing beneath the skin)
• Tungiasis (caused by chigoe flea; usually infects the soles of the feet, the webspace between the toes and the toenails)
• Strongyloidiasis and other helminthic infections are reported.

Rabies: Sporadic cases occur. Dogs are the primary source of infection although rabid vampire bats have also transmitted the disease. Travelers should especially avoid stray dogs and seek immediate treatment of any animal bite. Rabies vaccination is usually indicated following the unprovoked bite or lick of a dog, cat, vampire bat, monkey, or other animal.
• Pre-exposure rabies vaccine is recommended for: persons anticipating an extended stay; for those whose work or activities may bring them into contact with animals; for people going to rural or remote locations where medical care is not readily available; for travelers desiring extra protection. Children are considered at higher risk because they tend to play with animals and may not report bites.
• Pre-exposure vaccination eliminates the need for rabies immune globulin, but does not eliminate the need for two additional booster doses of vaccine. Prompt medical evaluation and treatment of any animal bite is essential, regardless of vaccination status. Note: If adequate rabies treatment is not available locally, immediate medical evacuation is advised to a facility that can provide treatment.

Schistosomiasis: Currently not reported, but may occur just across the border near Albina, in Suriname. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic flatworm infection of the intestinal or urinary system caused by one of several species of Schistosoma. Schistosomiasis is transmitted through exposure to contaminated water while 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: Water in Cayenne is considered generally safe for consumption. Travelers should follow food and drink precautions, especially outside first-class hotels and resorts. Water-borne and food-borne diseases are a risk. Outside of hotels and resorts, 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.
Peel all fruits.
• Wash your hands with soap or detergent, or use a hand sanitizer gel, before you eat. Good hand hygiene reduces the incidence of travelers’ diarrhea by 30%.
• A quinolone antibiotic, azithromycin, or rifaximin (Xifaxin), 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 and is related, in part, to the incidence of HIV and AIDS. French Guiana is sparsely populated (150,000), its inhabitants scattered throughout a large territory (91,000 sq. km). The country is populated by persons of diverse geographic and ethnic origin (many immigrants from South and Central America) which helps account for why >60% of all TB cases are imported.
• 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 with an infected individual. 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: Typhoid vaccine is recommended for all people traveling to or working in the Caribbean and South America, 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.

Yellow Fever: There is a risk of yellow fever transmission in all areas of this country. Yellow fever is transmitted via the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito (mainly Aedes aegypti). Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travelers entering this country.
View a yellow fever map at: