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03/05/2016

Health system for tourists in Brazil

To have a great trip in Brazil and take back home only the great memories, see practical tips and essential information to protect your health and make your vacation more enjoyable and peaceful. Brazil offers to both Brazilian and foreign tourists plenty of tour options, namely those related to nature, adventure, history and culture. The country has continental proportions and thus its different regions have large variations in climate, topography and vegetation. Each requires specific health care.

Who to contact

Emergency service may be requested by phone. See numbers below:

POLICE: 190

SAMU – Mobile Emergency Care Service 192
DISQUE-INTOXICAÇÃO – Questions and reports related to intoxications 0800 722 601
ANVISA – National Health Surveillance Agency 0800 642 9782
ANAC – National Civil Aviation Agency 0800 642 9782
ANTT – National Land Transportation Agency 166
ANTAQ – National Waterway Transportation Agency 0800 644 500

Basic precautions during your tours:

  • Brazil is a tropical country. The constant intake of fluids is recommended to travelers in order to avoid dehydration; Bottled mineral water is safe way to do it;
  • Use comfortable clothes and footwear. They will provide you with security and protection against sprains, insect bites and accidents with venomous animals; Try shorts, light coloured clothes, preferably made of cotton or light fabrics;
  • Cover up with appropriate clothing and use a hat / cap and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. Avoid direct exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.;
  • Use sunscreen with a protection factor suitable for the color of your skin, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Even in colder places, your skin will be protected from sunlight;
  • Use repellents whenever necessary (specially with the recent Zika virus);
  • Wash your hands with soap and water several times a day, especially before eating, after using public conveyances, visiting crowded markets or places.

Protect yourselfe against insect bites

  • Upon arrival at your accommodation (hotel, hostel, and others), check carefully if there are any mosquito breeding places and eliminate them;
  • The risk of malaria, dengue, yellow fever, Chikungunya, Zika virus infection can be reduced if mosquito bites are prevented. Observe the following recommendations:
  • Look for accommodation with protective screens on doors and windows, especially if you are far from capital cities, or take a mosquito net/curtain as an alternative;
  • On ecological tours, use clothes that protect your body against insect bites and ticks, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks and closed footwear.
  • In locations with malaria transmission (Amazon Region), stay, especially in the period between dusk and dawn, in locations with barriers against insect entry, such as protective screens, mosquito nets, air conditioning or others;
  • Apply insect repellent on exposed skin areas, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • People infected with the Zika, Chikungunya or Dengue virus become reservoirs of infection for other people, both at home and in the community. Therefore, a person who is sick must observe the protection measures described above to prevent the disease from spreading.
  • In general about 70% to 80% of people infected with the Zika, Chikungunya or Dengue viruses never feel the consequences. The rest will feel body pains, fevers, headaches and other minor symptoms. Apart from these uncomfortable symptons the viruses are more or less inocuous.
  • The only real GRAND ALERT is for the Zika virus when it comes to pregnant women. The disease is reported to be very aggresive and to provoke GRAVE HARM to the phoetus. So if pregnant maybe you can pay a visit at another opportunity, or plan well and make the extreme effort to keep safe from insects. (As updates on the Zika virus are daily please check with your countrys oficial health care alerts for the virus)

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