MEDICAL ADVICE AND PRECAUTIONS
You needn't specific medical precautions when travelling to Brazil. But, besides making sure your appropriate vaccinations are all up to date, you must take some precautions and take malaria and yellow fever vaccinations if you are going to travel to places like the Amazon or the Pantanal.
Amazon and Pantanal: safety shot?
For your safety, if you intend to visit deep regions in the Amazon or the Pantanal, it is recommendable to have a yellow fever and malaria shots.
BRAZILIAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Unless you are going to some remote and very rural area, you won't have to worry about your eventual need of medical or hospital care. The Brazilian system is efficient enough to provide adequate care to visitors. The major Brazilian cities - Sao Paulo, Rio, Curitiba, Sao Salvador, Recife, Manaus, Fortaleza - have sophisticated facilities and very competent health staff, ready to support foreign visitors. And the hundred or thousands of other small cities can also provide good health support.
WATER IN BRAZIL
In remote areas you should stick to bottled water; there is bottled mineral water available virtually everywhere. Tap water in remote areas can be unsafe, even the filtered one. You should take local advice before drinking tap water.
MALARIA IN BRAZIL
Malaria is restricted to some northern parts of Brazil. If you just intend to visit coastal zones of Brazil, then you don't need to take anti-malarial medication. If you wish to visit the Amazon or the Pantanal, then you should take anti-malarial vaccination.
If you just intend to visit coastal zones of Brazil, then you don't need anti yellow fever medication. If you want to visit the Amazon, the Pantanal or other inland northern destination, then you should take the adequate vaccines. Yellow Fever occurs in large areas of north and west Brazil.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
You will not need a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate to enter Brazil unless you have visited (on the past 90 days) or intend to visit one of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, French Guyana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Venezuela.
Though rare and restricted to the poorer urban areas and sites, dengue fever may occur, namely in the south of Brazil and Pantanal. There aren't reported cases of travellers with problems caused by dengue fever, but sanitary authorities advise visitors to take advice on local conditions when travelling within Brazil and to minimise exposure to mosquito bites by covering themselves up and using insect repellents.
Brazilian is a largely tropical and sub-tropical country, which means additional precautions against some local endemic diseases should be taken:
- All travellers should be up-to-date with measles vaccination.
- There have been some isolated cases of cholera in the North East of Brazil.
- Rotavirus, Brazilian Spotted Fever (caused by ticks), Chagas disease (caused by a parasite) are normally located diseases, relatively common to the rural and poor areas of Brazil.
These and other tropical diseases are unlikely to be encountered in travel destinations and tourist areas.