Health and Diseases in Brazil

By | November 7, 2021

Vaccination protection

When entering from a yellow fever area, proof of a valid yellow fever vaccination is required from all travelers who are older than 9 months. If this cannot be proven, there is a risk of an entry ban or fines.

In the past, the yellow fever vaccination was sometimes required by Amazon cruise travelers in the port of Rio de Janeiro. Under certain circumstances, airlines can also check the yellow fever vaccination certificate when traveling on to an American yellow fever endurance area or when traveling on to the Amazon region.

In general, according to Neovideogames, the yellow fever vaccination is recommended for large areas in Brazil. This applies to trips inland, to the cities there, the capital Brasilia and to the Iguazú National Park.

In addition to a yellow fever vaccination, the Federal Foreign Office recommends vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and hepatitis A, and for longer stays (longer than 4 weeks) and / or special exposure also vaccination against hepatitis B, typhoid and rabies.

In the Brazilian states of Pará and Maranhão in particular, the bites of infected fruit bats (“vampires”) led to several fatal rabies infections. However, rabies infections are possible all over Brazil.

Dengue fever

Dengue fever epidemics can occur in summer (November to April) in numerous (mainly northeastern) Brazilian states as well as in Rio de Janeiro. Dengue fever is transmitted by the diurnal mosquito Stegomyia (Aedes) aegypti. This disease can be very serious and even fatal. A consistent mosquito repellent is therefore strongly recommended when traveling in Brazil.


Around 100,000 cases of malaria are reported in Brazil each year. Nocturnal Anopheles mosquito is responsible for the transmission of malaria. If malaria (especially tropical malaria, which is rare in Bolivia), remains untreated, it can be fatal in non-immune Europeans. Malaria can break out weeks and months after the actual mosquito bite. Therefore, even after returning from Bolivia, if you have a fever, you should consult a doctor who should be advised of your stay in the malaria area.

There is a high risk of malaria below 900 m in the settlement, mining and forest areas of the Brazilian states of Acre (especially in the valleys of the Rio Abuná, Rio Acre and Rio Tarauacá and between Rio Tarauacá and Rio Cruzeiro), Pará (north), Amapá (north and the Jari valley,) Rondônia (north), Amazonas (in the wider area and neighboring districts of the cities and on the lower reaches of Javarí, Madeira, Negro, Solimões and Purus), Roraima (west), Maranhão (north), Mato Grosso (mid-west) and Tocantins (central and northern Araguaia region).

There is a medium risk of malaria in the remaining rural regions, the outskirts of larger cities in the above-mentioned states and in the hinterland of the Ilha de Marajo.

There is a low to very low risk of malaria in the cities of Boa Vista, Porto Velho, Manaus, Macapá, Marabá and Santarém.

There is currently no malaria in the cities of the east coast including Fortaleza and Foz de Iguacu.

Depending on the route, chemoprophylaxis (taking tablets) may be recommended. There are various prescription drugs on the market for malaria prophylaxis (for example Doxycycline, Malarone or Lariam). An experienced tropical or travel doctor can advise you on the choice of medication, their intolerance and side effects and personal adjustment.

In addition to malaria, mosquitoes transmit other infectious diseases, which is recommended as a preventive protection when traveling in Brazil

  • wear light-colored clothing covering the whole body (long trousers and shirts). This both during the day (dengue fever) and in the evening (malaria).
  • Regularly apply insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body
  • to use a mosquito net in the regions mentioned above


The risk of a life-threatening infection with HIV / AIDS always arises from sexual contact and drug use (for example unclean cannulas or syringes or cannulas). The use of condoms is therefore always recommended, especially with casual acquaintances.

Diarrhea and cholera

Most diarrheal illnesses can be prevented with proper drinking water and food hygiene. This hygiene is particularly important in more rural regions as well as in northern and northeastern Brazil.

Medical supplies

In larger cities in Brazil, medical care is comparable to European standards. In rural Brazil, medical care is often inadequate from a technical, technical and hygienic point of view. It is therefore strongly recommended that you have adequate health insurance and reliable travel repatriation insurance. A tropical or travel doctor can advise you on equipping your first-aid kit.

Medical treatment and hospital stays are sometimes considerably more expensive in Brazil than in Germany. German health insurances often do not pay these costs or only partially. It is therefore strongly recommended that you consult the responsible health insurance provider before taking out health insurance or starting your journey. In the case of treatment costs in Bolivia, the patient usually has to show up.

Before traveling to Brazil, you should seek advice from a tropical / travel doctor. In the German diplomatic missions in Brazil, lists of recommended German or English-speaking doctors can be obtained on request.

In addition to my general disclaimer, please note the following important note:

A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information and liability for any damage that may occur cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Health and Diseases in Brazil