Just before the Olympics Games in Rio, the Brazilian Government launched the “Traveler’s Health” website, a kind of guide with useful health information with focus to assist foreign tourists before and during their trips to Brazil as well Brazilians traveling outside of Brazil. On the “Preparations for the Trip” visitors will find general health tips, specific precautions for pregnant women and helpful information regarding vaccination, the zika and malaria.
It’s good to reminder that there is no reciprocal health agreement with United States and full insurance is strongly recommended for the foreigner, specially, if he/she travels with kids. Public health care services in Brazil are free of charge, but may only be used by foreign tourists in the event of an emergency. In case of an emergency, the main hospital in São Paulo is the Hospital das Clínicas, while in Rio the Hospital Copa D’Oro and the Hospital Samaritano. In the event of a medical emergency, call 192 for an ambulance.
Tap water should not be drunk unless boiled or sterilized first. Even filtered water in more remote areas should be avoided and bottled water should be drunk instead. The standard of medical care is generally very good in major towns and cities of Brazil. English-speaking doctors are found mainly in the major cities of Brazil like São Paulo and Rio, but in general, the medical staff does not speak English. The “Traveler Health” website is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.