The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Brazil is a developing nation but is in the upper half of the world's economies. Located in eastern South America, its climate is mostly tropical, but temperate in the south.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
Vaccination is usually recommended if you’ll be traveling in areas where there is risk of yellow fever transmission.
- Requirement: no requirement for any traveler.
- Official Status: listed by WHO as a country where YF transmission risk is present.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2018) Malaria risk due to P. vivax (88.8%), P. falciparum (10.6%), mixed infections (0.5%) exists in most forested areas below 900 m within the nine states of the Amazon region (Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Maranhão, Mato Grosso [northern part], Pará [except Belém City], Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins [western part]). Transmission intensity varies from one municipality to another and is higher in jungle-mining areas, in agricultural settlements, in indigenous areas, and in some peripheral urban areas of Cruzeiro do Sul, Manaus, and Pôrto Velho. Malaria also occurs on the periphery of large cities such as Boa Vista, Macapá, Maraba, Rio Branco, and Santarém. In the states outside the administrative region of Amazonas, the risk of malaria transmission is negligible or non-existent, but there is a residual risk of P. vivax transmission in Atlantic forest areas of the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and Espirito Santo. Detailed information on the epidemiological situation of malaria in Brazil is available at www.saude.gov.br/malaria.
- Recommended prevention in P. vivax risk areas: B – Risk of P. vivax malaria only. Mosquito bite prevention plus chloroquine chemoprophylaxis. a
- Recommended prevention in P. falciparum risk areas: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: All areas of the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Rondonia, and Roraima. Also present in the states of Maranhão, Mato Grosso, and Para, but rare cases in their capital cities. Rare cases in the rural areas of the states of Espirito Santo, Goias, Mato Grosso do Sul, Piaui, and Tocantins. Rare cases in the rural forested areas of the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo. No malaria in the cities of Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paolo, and none at Iguaçu Falls (see Map 3-21).
- Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: Low.
- Drug resistance4: Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. vivax 85%, P. falciparum 15%.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: States of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Rondonia, and Roraima. States of Maranhão, Mato Grosso, and Para (but not their capital cities): Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Areas with rare cases: Mosquito avoidance only.
4 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
Moderate risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to ongoing security concerns, U.S. (DOS) advises avoiding travel to areas within 150 km (93 mi) of all international borders; favelas, Brasília's federal districts of Ceilândia, Santa Maria, São Sebastião, and Paranoá; and limited areas in Recife's Pina Beach. U.K. (FCO), Canada (GAC), and Australia (DFAT) have no current warnings.
Low risk of attack by transnational domestic terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in areas bordering Colombia.
High risk of violent crime (armed robbery, sexual assault, carjacking, and murder) and petty crime exists in Rio de Janeiro (including Corcovado Mountain hiking trails), São Paulo, Recife, Salvador, and other cities throughout the country, including on beaches, and during large-scale events such as Carnival, sporting events, and international conferences.
Express kidnappings to force cash withdrawals at ATMs may occur in cities throughout the country.
Scams involving ATMs and mobile phone cloning have been reported. Pink-colored bank notes from an ATM indicate it has been tampered with; the currency will not be accepted.
Risk exists of robberies and/or assaults occurring after consuming intentionally drugged food or drink; tourists are frequently targeted. Highest threat areas include Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, especially on Rua Augusta north of Paulista Avenue and in areas surrounding Estação da Luz metro station.
Protests and demonstrations frequently occur in major cities throughout the country and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
A dangerous security environment may exist in favelas and in areas bordering other countries.
Only visit Amazon border regions or the Pantanal with trained guides.
Piracy (involving commercial and private, leisure vessels) may occur in coastal waters, especially off of the northeastern coast.
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI, and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
High risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is 12 to 24 per 100,000 population. The rate is less than 10 in most high-income countries. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark. Driving at night is not advised.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
Avoid private buses due to safety and security concerns, including risk of hijacking.
Many taxis are unsafe. Use taxis from official ranks or dispatched via smart phone app or radio from a reputable company and ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country oversees its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
The rainy season is from January through July in northern areas, April through July in northeastern areas, and November through March in southern areas. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Wildfires occur during the dry season from May through September in central areas, including Brasília.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Brazil
- United States: [+55] 61-3312-7000; br.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+55] 61-3424-5400; brazil.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+55] 61-3329-2300; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-brazil
- Australia: [+55] 61-3226-3111; brazil.embassy.gov.au
Brazil's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: washington.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us
- In Canada: ottawa.itamaraty.gov.br/pt-br
- In the U.K.: londres.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us
- In Australia: camberra.itamaraty.gov.br/pt-br
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.