HEALTH

Public health services in Brazil are free for foreign tourists. So, if you are in an accident or present any health problems, just call the Mobile Emergency Service (Samu) dialing 192 on the phone. The call is free.

Basic care

  • Brazil is a country with tropical climate, so we recommend that you drink liquids constantly in order to prevent dehydration.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and protect yourself from the sun with a hat (or cap), sunglasses and sunscreen. Avoid direct sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
  • Always bring repellent against insects, to use whenever necessary.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water several times a day, especially after using public transportation and visiting attractions with a great movement of people.
  • Avoid consuming foods that have been poorly prepared or packaged.
  • During cycling or hiking trips, take foods that can be keep without refrigeration and that don’t spoil with the heat.

Zika virus prevention

To impede the action of the mosquito that carries the zika virus, it is necessary to use repellent and long-sleeved clothes (especially in the early morning and late afternoon). In case you have symptoms such as fever, rashes, headaches, pain behind the eyes, pain in the body and joints, or red spots throughout the body, the Brazilian Ministry of Health advises that you should look for a hospital or health unit and drink plenty of liquids.

The virus is the main cause of the increase of microcephaly in babies, being a reason for concern mainly among pregnant women and women who plan to become pregnant in the next few months. Regardless of the destination or reason, all pregnant women should consult their physicians before travelling.

Pregnant women are advised to use only drugs prescribed by health professionals, take qualified prenatal examinations for their current stage, in addition to reporting any changes during pregnancy. In addition to the use of insect repellent and long-sleeved clothes, it is also recommended to avoid accumulating stagnant water in places such as buckets, vases, old tires, ect.

Brazil has outlined a National Plan to fight the disease, involving different ministries and agencies of the Federal Government, in partnership with states and cities, to prevent new cases of the disease.

Vaccines

To enter Brazil, it is not mandatory to vaccinate against any type of illness. However, in the country there are areas with Vaccination Recommendation (ACRV), where it is recommended to vaccinate against yellow fever before your visit. Yellow fever is a disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes.

So, if you have never taken the vaccine, you need to take it 10 days before your trip (this period is not necessary if you have been vaccinated before).

If you have any doubts, check the website of the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

Malaria prevention

According to the World Health Organization (OMS), there is a risk of malaria transmission in 96 countries around the globe. Infected people have symptoms such as fever, chills and flu-like symptoms at the beginning.

In Brazil, the transmission of malaria is concentrated in the Amazon, that is composed by the States of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins. In these areas, it is essential that you take certain precautions during periods of higher activity of the mosquitoes that carry the disease (from sunset to sunrise):

  • Use light clothes with long sleeves during periods of high exposure in activities such as canoe trips.
  • Apply insect repellent on exposed areas of the skin, always following the guidelines of the manufacturer.
  • Pay attention to the appearance of disease symptoms, such as fever, body aches and headaches.
  • In case any symptom of the disease appear, look for the nearest hospital or health unit. Ideally, medical attention should be given until 48 hours after the first symptoms.

It is important to highlight that Brazil has a public health network structured to diagnose and treat patients appropriately.

Yellow fever

Considering The World Health Organization’s (WHO) broadening of the cautious area regarding yellow fever, the recommendation for international travelers coming to Brazil, especially to Sao Paulo State, are the following: Individuals visiting this area (including Sao Paulo the Capital and the coast) and who are nine months of age or older should receive the vaccine. There is no restrictions concerning travels around the country.

Considering that protective antibodies against the virus are produced between the 7th and the 10th day after the vaccine is administered, it should be administered within 10 days prior to the travel, so that the individual will be considered protected. A dose provides protection for a lifetime. Besides the vaccine, other individual protective measures should be considered, such as wearing trousers and long sleeve shirts and using insect repellents.

The Brazilian Ministry of Health highlighted that the areas determined for vaccination in Brazil remains the same and that protective measures, such as vaccination enhancement and fractional doses, will continue to be adopted and updated whenever necessary.

The Yellow Fever virus is transmitted by the bite of infected transmitter mosquitoes. This disease is not transmitted from one individual to another. The vaccine is the main form to prevent and control the disease.