Guidelines for travelers to the Olympic and Para-Olympic games in Brazil, August 5-16, 2016 and September 7-18, 2016
Guidelines to avoid being infected with the Zika virus
Since the beginning of 2015 the first outbreak of the Zika virus disease has been taking place in Brazil. Active transmission of the disease occurs these days too.
The Zika disease is a viral disease transmitted mainly through mosquito bites. The disease is not considered dangerous as of itself, but could cause congenital defects in fetuses if their mother is infected with the disease during her pregnancy.
It is currently agreed by the scientific community that the Zika virus causes microcephaly (small head size) and the Guillain-Barré syndrome.
There is no need to refrain from traveling to Brazil, except in certain cases, as listed in the circular of the head of public health services, no. 6/2016 dated May 17, 2016, and in accordance with the guidelines of international bodies, like the World Health Organization.
Public Health Services, no. 06/2016
The outbreak of the Zika virus disease – update
- For pregnant women, or those planning pregnancy in the near future, it is recommended to postpone a trip to Brazil. This recommendation does not apply if one plans to stay in places that are 2000 meter or higher above sea level.
- For persons traveling to places in Brazil where active transmission of the Zika virus occurs, it is recommended to take the following precautions to limit the risk of mosquito bite, both during daytime and during night-time:
- Rubbing on a mosquito repellent;
- Wearing long-sleeve shirt, long pants and a hat;
- Staying in rooms that are protected from mosquitos: properly closed screens on windows and doors, rooms sprayed against mosquitos, or under a repellent sprayed mosquito net, or in an air conditioned room.
- For a woman visiting Brazil it is recommended to avoid becoming pregnant during her visit and also 8 weeks following her return.
- For men who visited Brazil and did not suffer from the Zika virus disease symptoms, it is recommended to abstain from sexual relations or to use a condom in any kind of sexual contact during 8 weeks from their last exposure. This recommendation applies to any partner, of any age and regardless of pregnancy.
- For men who visited Brazil and did suffer from at least one of the Zika virus diseases symptoms, or were diagnosed in the lab as infected with Zika, it is recommended to abstain from sexual relations or to use a condom in any kind of sexual contact for 6 months from their last exposure. This recommendation applies to any partner, of any age. If the partner is pregnant, these precautions must be followed up to the end of the pregnancy.
Other general and specific recommendations for travelers to Brazil
In addition to the general recommendations and customary precautions (like personal hygiene, prevention of diseases transmitted by mosquitos and ticks, diseases transmitted through food and water, diseases transmitted via sexual contact or blood, and precautions to prevent skin morbidity), those traveling abroad should contact the clinics for travelers abroad prior to leaving the country to get vaccinations and instructions for preventing the infectious diseases that are common in Brazil.
Recommendations for those returning from Brazil
In case a person returning from Brazil shows clinical signs (such as fever, rash, joint pain, eye infection, red eyes) within two weeks of his return, he should contact his physician and inform him about his return from Brazil.