Rio de Janeiro Travel Information, Hotels, Booking Services

Rio Health tips

Vaccinations before travelling to Rio

Vaccinations and other health related concerns for Tourist going to Rio de Janeiro

These recommendations are for short-term trips and limited to Rio. However, all travelers should check with their personal physician or a travel health clinic one month before departure.

Hepatitis A is recommended for all travelers.

Typhoid is recommended for travelers who may eat or drink outside major restaurants and hotels
Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), two doses is recommended for all travelers born after 1956, if not previously given
Tetanus-diphtheria Revaccination is recommended every 10 years.

Recent outbreaks
Dengue fever: In January 2002, the was an outbreak of dengue fever, a flu-like illness sometimes complicated by hemorrhage or shock, chiefly affecting the state of Rio de Janeiro. Dengue fever is transmitted by a particular mosquito species, Aedes, which bites primarily in the daytime. This species favors densely populated areas, although they may be found in the countryside. There is no vaccine available. We strongly suggest you use insect protection.

Other infections include
? Leptospirosis (mainly urban areas; chief animal hosts are rodents, dogs, pigs, and mice)
? Cutaneous and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (in suburban areas in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo)
? Brucellosis (the most common animal source is infected cattle)

Food and water precautions
You should not drink tap water unless it has been filtered, boiled or chemically disinfected. You should not not drink unbottled beverages or drinks with ice either. Avoid eating fruits or vegetables unless they have been peeled or cooked. Avoid cold cooked foods and cooked foods left at room temperature which are particularly hazardous. Avoid eating or drinking food and beverages from street vendors. You are strongly advised not to eat raw or undercooked meat or fish. Never eat Barracuda, red snapper, grouper, amberjack and sea bass.


Medication you should carry

You should take an antibiotic and an antidiarrheal drug to be started promptly if significant diarrhea occurs (three or more loose stools in an 8-hour period or five or more loose stools in a 24-hour period, especially if along with fever, nausea, cramps, vomiting or blood in the stools). You should seek medical attention in case of severe or bloody diarrhea, or if there is fever with shaking chills, or if abdominal pain becomes marked, or if diarrhea persists for more than 72 hours.

Insect and tick protection
In order to avoid dengue and other insect related dseases. Wear long sleeves, long pants, hats and shoes. Apply insect repellents containing 25-50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) or 20% picaridin (Bayrepel) to exposed skin. DEET may also be applied to clothing. For additional protection, apply permethrin-containing compounds to clothing, shoes, and bed nets. Unless there is a screen, avoid sleeping with the window open. If that is not possible, use a bed net, impregnated with insect repellent, with edges tucked in under the mattress. Otherwise, use a mosquito coil to fill the room with insecticide.


Swimming and bathing precautions
Avoid swimming, wading, or rafting in fresh water, such as lakes, ponds, streams, or rivers. Toweling oneself dry after unavoidable or accidental exposure to contaminated water may reduce the possibility of schistosomiasis, but does not reliably prevent this disease.


General advice
If you bring any medicine to Brazil, make sure all medications are clearly labeled and in their original containers. It is also advisable to carry a signed, dated letter from the primary physician describing all medical conditions and listing all medications you may carry.


Health Insurance
Make sure your health insurance covers you for medical expenses abroad. Do not travel without insurance. In case an illness occurs while abroad, the cost medical expenses and evacuation may be incredibly high. Always carry your insurance card, claim forms, and other relevant insurance documents. It is advisable to determine whether your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later before departure.
You must avoid contact with stray dogs and other animals. On teh unfortunate event an animal bites or scratches you, you must clean the wound with large amounts of soap and water and contact local health authorities immediately.
Given the high temperatures, remember to wear sun block regularly. Due to HIV and other sexual transmissions diseases you are advised to use condoms for sexual encounters always.


Ambulance services
In Brazil the ambulance emergency number is 193. It is very unlikely that they speak English or any other language besides Portuguese.

Health Care centres

Physicians and hospitals

Costs of medical treatment may be higher in Brazil than in your country for a similar care or treatment. And keep in mind that most physicians and hospitals will expect payment at time of service.


Traveling with children
Recommendations for infants and young children are basically the same as those for adults, but certain vaccines and medications should not be administered to them. For instance, yellow fever vaccine is not approved for patients less than nine months of age.
Food and water precautions, which are recommended for all travelers, must be strictly followed at all times, especially with children.


For tourists who have been in transit over the past three months, or who are coming from certain countries - Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, French Guiana, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leon, Sudan, Venezuela and Zaire -, an International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever is required by the Brazilian authorities.


The yellow fever vaccine is also recommended for all tourists visiting: North (Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia, Roraima, Amapá, Pará, Tocantins States) and Mid-west (Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás e Distrito Federal States) Regions of Brazil, to all municipalities of Maranhão and Minas Gerais, to the municipalities located in the South of Piauí, West and South of Bahia, North of Espírito Santo, Northwest of São Paulo and West of the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.


Remember that the vaccine should be taken ten days before your trip to be protected against the disease. The Brazilian coastline is free from the disease in the strip that goes from Rio Grande do Sul to Piauí. Since 1942, there have been no cases of yellow fever in Brazilian cities.

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