This information is current as of today, December 21, 2011 at 04:09 EST
Yellow fever is a risk for travelers to most areas of Brazil, except coastal regions. During 2009, an outbreak of yellow fever, including a number of deaths, occurred in parts of southeastern Brazil that had not been affected by yellow fever for many years. In response, the Brazil Ministry of Health has gradually expanded the list of municipalities for which yellow fever vaccination is recommended in the four southeastern states of São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul.
Globally, yellow fever occurs in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America and is spread to people through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Symptoms can include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, backache, nausea, and vomiting.
Yellow Fever Risk Areas in Brazil
Currently, Brazil and CDC recommend yellow fever vaccination for travelers to the following states:
- All areas of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Distrito Federal (including the capital city of Brasília), Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins.
- Other designated areas of the following states: Bahia, Paraná, Piauí, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and São Paulo. Vaccination is also recommended for travelers visiting Iguassu Falls.
- Vaccination is NOT recommended for travel to the following coastal cities: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Recife, and Fortaleza.
Refer to the updated 2011 Brazil Ministry of Health yellow fever vaccination map (PDF) to see the states where yellow fever vaccine is recommended.
To determine if yellow fever vaccination is recommended for a specific municipality in Brazil, you may consult the following list of yellow fever vaccine recommendations, organized by municipality and state (PDF). To more easily use this list of Brazilian municipalities, which contains terms in Portuguese, see the following legend for English translations.
Recommendations for US Travelers
Brazil currently does not require yellow fever vaccination for entrance into the country. However, travelers are strongly urged to get the yellow fever vaccine before traveling to an area of Brazil with risk of yellow fever virus transmission. (See Yellow Fever Risk Areas in Brazil above.) For additional information, see CDC yellow fever vaccination recommendations and requirements for Brazil.
Protection from Mosquito Bites
Since yellow fever is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, travelers are also reminded to take steps to prevent mosquito bites:
- When outdoors or in a building that is not well screened, use insect repellent on uncovered skin. Always apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
- Look for a repellent that contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus/PMD, or IR3535. Always follow the instructions on the label when you use the repellent.
- In general, repellents protect longer against mosquito bites when they have a higher concentration (%) of the active ingredient. However, concentrations above 50% do not offer a marked increase in protection time. Products with less than 10% of an active ingredient may offer only limited protection, often just 1-2 hours.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics approves the use of repellents with up to 30% DEET on children over 2 months old.
- Protect babies less than 2 months old by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
- For more information about the use of repellent on infants and children, please see the “Insect and Other Arthropod Protection” section in Traveling Safely with Infants and Children in CDC Health Information for International Travel 2010 and the “Children” section of CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about Repellent Use.
- For more information on the use of insect repellents, visit Mosquito and Tick Protection.
- Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
- Spray clothing with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent for greater protection. (Remember: Don't use permethrin on skin.)
Visit the Brazil destination page on the CDC Travelers’ Health website for information about other steps to take to ensure a safe and healthy trip to Brazil.
For more information about yellow fever risk and yellow fever vaccine, see the Yellow Fever section of CDC Health Information for International Travel 2012.