Travel News

Brazil and Yellow Fever

Brazil and Yellow Fever

There are lots of countries in the world and many have vaccination requirements. Some vaccines are only suggestions and some countries won’t let you in at all if you don’t have the proper vaccines. If you are traveling on business to Brazil soon there have been some developments on the current suggestions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends that you get the yellow fever vaccine – 10 travelers have caught the virus, four of them died, including two people from Chile, one from Switzerland and one from Germany.

“None of the 10 travelers had received yellow fever vaccination,” the CDC said.

The CDC has been warning about yellow fever in Brazil for more than a year but said the outbreak is even worse than before, affecting areas that usually don’t see yellow fever.

“There is an expanding number of hotspots in Brazil where yellow fever is being transmitted,” said Dr. Marty Cetron, director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.

At least three of the infected travelers appear to have caught the virus on Ilha Grande, a popular island tourist destination right off Rio de Janeiro.

“In light of the expanding outbreak, we encourage travelers to take the extra time and extra steps in order to be vaccinated,” Cetron told reporters in a telephone briefing.

Yellow fever is a relative of the dengue and Zika viruses, but is far deadlier. Most people don’t even know they are infected, but 15 percent can develop serious illness and as many as 60 percent of those who do get severely ill will die.

It’s carried by mosquitoes — both the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread dengue and Zika — and also by jungle-dwelling Haemagogus mosquitoes.

Need to Know

  • Travelers to Brazil should protect themselves from yellow fever by getting yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days before travel, and preventing mosquito bites.
  • In addition to areas in Brazil where yellow fever vaccination has been recommended since before the recent outbreaks, the vaccine is now also recommended for people who are traveling to or living in: All of Espirito Santo State, São Paulo State, and Rio de Janeiro State as well as a number of cities in Bahia State.
  • People who have never been vaccinated against yellow fever should avoid traveling to areas of Brazil where yellow fever vaccination is recommended.
  • Travelers going to areas with ongoing outbreaks may consider getting a booster dose of yellow fever vaccine if it has been 10 or more years since they were vaccinated.
  • Yellow fever vaccine is available at a limited number of clinics in the United States, so travelers should plan ahead to get the vaccine.
  • CDC recommends the yellow fever vaccine for travelers 9 months of age or older
  • Note: Yellow fever vaccine availability in the United States is currently limited. If you need to be vaccinated before your trip, you may need to travel some distance and schedule your appointment well in advance.

Other Recommend Vaccines for Brazil:

  • For all travelers:
    • Standard: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot
  • For Most travelers:
    • Hepetitis A, Typhoid
  • For Some travelers:
    • Hepatitis B, Maleria, Rabies, Yellow Fever

Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US.

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