Vaccinations Information For Traveling To Brazil
When traveling to a new country, it is absolutely crucial that you be sure to chat with your primary care physician about getting the necessary vaccinations before takeoff. In some countries, certain vaccinations are absolutely crucial and you could be taking a serious risk if you ignore the recommended doses. In Brazil, it is highly recommended that you get a number of different vaccines as a means of protecting yourself and your loved ones during your stay. You should always do research when traveling anywhere, even when it’s somewhere you’ve been before. Certain risks can pop up or increase over time, and it’s vitally important to be an informed traveler! Some viruses cannot be prevented by vaccines, however. Keep in mind that pregnant women should never travel to Brazil due to severe risks, and those planning or those at risk of pregnancy should be mindful of their timing when scheduling trips to Brazil. Zika is a virus that travelers risk catching during their stay, and it can cause extremely serious birth defects.
Planning to visit Brazil? Then you will need a visa to Brazil!
Routine vaccinations should always be up-to-date, so be sure to check with your doctor before asking about any other recommended vaccines. Routine vaccinations include the measles-mumps-rubella shot (MMR), annual flu shot, chickenpox vaccine (varicella), polio vaccine, and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine. If these vaccinations are up-to-date, you’ll want to start asking about the other recommended doses.
Most travelers are going to want to receive their Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations. Both Hepatitis A and Typhoid can be spread through contaminated food and beverages, and you never know when you could be consuming something toxic. This is especially important if you’re an adventurous eater or will be staying in smaller, more rural parts of Brazil.
It’s also recommended to some travelers that they receive vaccinations for Hepatitis B, Rabies, Malaria, and Yellow Fever. Hepatitis B can be spread through sexual contact as well as contaminated needles or blood products. This means getting any body modifications, having medical procedures done, or having sex with a new partner during your trip can put you at risk. Rabies, while not a major risk to most explorers, can be found in Brazilian mammals, including domestic pets like cats and dogs. If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors or work with animals in any way, a Rabies vaccine is recommended. It’s also recommended that you have your children get vaccinated, as they’re more likely to play with animals. Malaria, while not spread by land animals, is spread by mosquitoes, and you should always do your best to avoid getting bug bites. Prescription medication might be wise to take before, during, and after your trip to prevent infection – especially if you plan to sleep outside or spend a lot of time outdoors. As for Yellow Fever, it is highly recommended that any travelers over nine months of age receive a vaccination, as the disease is a large risk in some parts of Brazil.
Ideally, you should pay a visit to your doctor to receive these vaccinations four to six weeks before leaving for your trip. You should also be sure to collect any medications you might be needing and make sure you have enough for the duration of your stay. In addition to taking these precautions, you should be mindful of the food and drinks you consume during your trip, avoid getting close to animals, avoid sharing bodily fluids, keep your exposure to germs to a minimum, take antimalarial medications, avoid any cosmetic or surgical equipment that isn’t sterile, and prevent bug bites as best you can. Your behaviors are a huge part of whether or not you have a greater risk of infection, so be aware of your behaviors throughout your time in Brazil to keep yourself as healthy as possible.
When consuming food and beverages, be mindful of how well certain foods are cooked and whether or not your drinks were sealed tight. Food should always be served hot and cooked thoroughly. If you’re going to consume fruits and veggies, you’ll want to wash and peel them yourself – don’t consume them unwashed or unpeeled. Pasteurized dairy products should also be okay to consume, but not unpasteurized. It’s unwise to trust street vendors. Avoid eating any raw, soft, and undercooked eggs, fish, and meat – especially wild game, or “bushmeat.” As far as drinks go, water should always be sealed and/or disinfected – never drink tap or well water or drinks made with tap or well water. Make sure ice cubes have been made with disinfected or sealed bottled water. Carbonated drinks, hot coffee and tea, carbonated drinks, and pasteurized milk should be fine.
To avoid infectious encounters with critters, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants as well as hats. Air-conditioned and screened rooms will reduce your risk to mosquito exposure. If your room is exposed to the outside, use a bed net. Use insect repellent and permethrin-treated clothing whenever possible, but never directly expose your skin to permethrin. Be sure to check your body and clothes for ticks after spending time outside! If you do find that you’ve been bitten, avoid scratching or picking at your wounds and take advantage of hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion – they’ll reduce the itchiness. If you come across any animals during your trip, do your best to avoid them. Be especially careful not to let them lick any open wounds or get saliva on your face. If you’re traveling with a pet, keep them away from other animals.
It’s extra important to use common sense while traveling. Always wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face, and don’t go out when you’re sick. Be sure to take note of any local medical centers in all areas you’ll be staying in so that you have a contact readily available if there’s an emergency. You should carry a card that details your blood type, any chronic conditions, allergies, and prescribed medications. You’ll also want to verify with a Brazilian embassy whether or not your prescription medications are all legal in Brazil.
If you follow these steps and take the appropriate measures, you should have no problem enjoying your exotic trip to one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. Have fun, be safe, and don’t forget to bring your camera!