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How to keep healthy when travelling in Brazil?

Page last updated 13 November 2018

Within the major cities of Brazil, the standard in healthcare facilities are comparable to Australia. However, outside the major cities, healthcare facilities can be limited and vary in quality, so it is important you a prepared before heading off on your trip.

Before travelling

  • Register your trip with Smart Traveller 
  • Make sure you have enough of your regular prescription medicines
  • Put together a travel kit with paracetamol and aspirin, diarrhoeal medicine, oral rehydration salts, antiseptic lotion or ointment, adhesive bandages and other wound dressings, insect repellent, sunscreen, latex gloves, thermometer, motion sickness medicine, water purification tablets and compression stockings
  • Ensure you’re up-to-date with your routine vaccinations
  • Take out travel insurance - to cover you and your family for medical and other costs resulting from unexpected incidents and accidents.

During travel

  • The tap water is not safe to drink in Brazil.
  • Drink bottled or filtered water only and check the plastic seal on bottled water is intact (some stores sell boiled water in recycled bottles). Avoid ice in your drinks, and check that salad and fruit have been washed with filtered water prior to consumption. 
  • Traveller's diarrhoea is common in Brazil along with other waterborne diseases such as typhoid and hepatitis A. Important ways to prevent traveller's diarrhoea include:
    • ensure you wash your hands with soap and water regularly
    • where possible, opt for fully cooked fresh food and only eat fruit that you peel yourself
  • Avoid mosquito bites, as yellow fever, zika and malaria are quite common in the south of the Brazil. Yellow fever-transmitting mosquitoes bite throughout the day ; zika-transmitting mosquitoes are active during the day and night, while malaria-transmitting mosquitoes bite primarily between dawn and dusk. There is no vaccination for zika, but there is for yellow fever and preventive medication for malaria. You can further protect yourself with insect repellent, wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs, and staying in accommodation that has fly nets or screens provided.
  • Use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV/AIDS, which are of significant risk in Brazil.
  • Rabies is a deadly disease and is a concern in parts of Brazil. It is spread by the bite, lick or scratch of an infected animal, such as a dog or a monkey. Avoid close contact wild and domestic animals; this is especially important for children. Do not carry food around, or feed/play with animals. Vaccinations for rabies are available – your doctor can advise whether vaccinations are required for your trip.

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Sources & Citations

  1. Worldometers, Brazil Population (live). Available at: [accessed 10 May 2018]
  2. Smart Traveller. Brazil. Available at: [accessed 10 May 2018]
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Fever. Prevention of Yellow Fever. Available at: [accessed 15 May 2018].
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zika Virus. Prevention and Transmission. Available at: [accessed 16 May 2018].

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0144a - Date of preparation July 2018