If you are traveling to Brazil soon and need to know which vaccinations to get or whether proof of any vaccinations is required at the border upon entering Brazil, read the following information on yellow fever in Brazil.
It is important to prepare for traveling to countries such as Brazil where yellow fever poses a higher health risk to both natives and foreigners traveling. Travelers should make sure that they are vaccinated against any high-risk diseases in the country to which they are traveling and also double-check whether they require a certificate in order to cross the border.
Often, it is easy to forget about vaccinations, particularly if you are used to traveling in areas of the world where few are required. While more compulsory documents such as a Brazilian visa are sometimes required to travel to Brazil, you may also require a vaccination certificate for Brazil.
Yellow Fever: What Is It?
Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne disease which means that it is spread by mosquito bites. Being bitten by a mosquito that carries the virus can cause symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, backache, fever, and chills that can develop into a serious illness. In extreme cases, yellow fever can result in organ failure, bleeding, and death. It takes approximately 3-6 days for the symptoms to kick in after the virus has entered the body.
You can protect yourself from contracting yellow fever by preventing mosquito bites. Using a mosquito net and mosquito repellent can help to prevent mosquito bites both while sleeping and while on the move in Brazil.
If while in Brazil, travelers suffer from any of the aforementioned symptoms of yellow fever or experience other symptoms that concern them, they are advised to seek medical attention in Brazil.
Yellow Fever Risk Countries
If you plan on visiting either Africa or South America, you are at risk of contracting yellow fever. This means that those traveling to Brazil may be at risk of yellow fever.
However, similar to other South American countries, Brazil is not holoendemic and depends on the region that you are visiting. In regions such as Fortaleza and Recife, the yellow fever vaccine for Brazil is generally not recommended. Previously, for areas further south down the coast such as in Rio de Janeiro, the vaccine was not recommended, although due to an yellow fever outbreak in Brazil in 2017, it is now recommended.
The main risk areas of Brazil are the states of:
- Distrito Federal (including Brasília)
- Espirito Santo
- Mato Grosso
- Mato Grosso do Sul
- Minas Gerais
- Rio de Janeiro
- Rio Grande do Sul
- Santa Catarina
- Sao Paulo
- Designated areas of Bahia State
Those visiting Iguazu Falls are also recommended to get the vaccine against yellow fever.
As mentioned above, there are also limited areas of Brazil where yellow fever does not pose a risk such as in the cities of Fortaleza and Recife.
Vaccination for Yellow Fever
If you choose to get a vaccination for yellow fever before traveling to Brazil, you should be given a yellow card. This card is called the Internation Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) and is recognized internationally by all nations as proof that you have been given a vaccine against yellow fever.
It is recommendable to carry your certificate with your travel documents if you are traveling to Brazil and other South American countries, especially since some countries in South America require proof upon entry. Usually, a certificate is only required in you have been in a risk area.
Do I Need a Yellow fever Vaccination Certificate for Brazil
At present, it is not obligatory for travelers to present a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever upon entry to Brazil. Despite being recommended for all visitors to Brazil, it is not an entry requirement for entering Brazil.
That said, those who wish to travel in high-risk areas for yellow fever in Brazil are recommended to get the vaccine.
Note: If you choose to get the vaccination for yellow fever, the certificate of vaccination will not be valid until 10 days have passed. Plan ahead of your trip and make sure you schedule all your vaccinations with plenty of time in advance.
If you are unsure as to which other vaccinations you might need or when to get your vaccination against yellow fever, be sure to visit your doctor to ask for more information specific to your country’s requirements and vaccination protocol. It is a good idea to visit with plenty of time in advance, as sometimes vaccinations, such as those for hepatitis must be given in more than one injection between certain time periods.