Health and Safety

All Americans traveling to Azerbaijan should make sure that their immunizations are up-to-date.  Azerbaijan’s water systems are often aging and poorly maintained.  Water should be filtered and purified.  A good rolling boil for 10 minutes will kill most bacteria and a good filter will remove most heavy metals and impurities.  Several brands of bottled water may be purchased locally.  Meats should be cooked thoroughly and fruits and vegetables should be washed and peeled.

The WHO and Azerbaijani authorities have confirmed human cases of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, commonly known as “bird flu.”  Travelers to Azerbaijan and other countries affected by the virus are cautioned to avoid poultry farms, contact with animals in live food markets, and any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals.  In addition, the CDC and WHO recommend eating only fully cooked poultry and eggs.

A few Western-type medical clinics, the quality of which is comparable to those in Western countries, are operating in Baku.  The quality of these clinics is good.  However, medical facilities outside the capital remain inadequate, unsanitary, and unsafe.  There is often a shortage of basic medical supplies, including disposable needles and vaccines.

If you have a medical emergency while in Baku, you may wish to use Consular Section’s list of English speaking physicians and/or facilities.  The Embassy assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the institutions, individuals, hospitals and/or doctors listed herein.

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.  For more information, please read about Medical Information for international travelers and Tips for Traveling Abroad.