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2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Updated: June 14, 2016

Travel Health Notice

The 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic GamesExternal link will be hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5 to August 21 and September 7 to September 18 respectively. People from around the world, including Canadians, will travel to Brazil to participate in, work at, or watch the different games and events.

Due to the ongoing outbreak of Zika virus infection in BrazilExternal link, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travellers practise special precautions to help ensure a healthy trip when attending the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Experts now agree that the Zika virus infection is a cause of microcephaly (abnormally small head) in newborns and of Guillian-Barre SyndromeExternal link (a neurological disorder).

The Agency recommends that pregnant women and those planning a pregnancy should avoid travel to the Olympics. All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bitesExternal link.

For further information on current situation and recommendations to protect yourself please see the travel health notice Zika virus infection: Global UpdateExternal link and the Brazil travel advice and advisoriesExternal link for up-to-date information.

This travel health notice will be reviewed on a regular basis and updated as required.


Before your trip:

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel.

  • Review travel health recommendations for BrazilExternal link
  • Get vaccinated
    • Routine vaccines and adult boosters:
      • Be up-to-date with your routine vaccines and adult boosters recommended for Canada, including measlesExternal link (if two doses have not been received and the traveller was born in or after 1970 in Canada). Travellers are reminded to make sure their measles vaccination is up-to-date.
      • The routine schedule for childhood vaccines may need to be adjusted if a child is travelling.
    • Other vaccines to consider for travel to Brazil:
      • Hepatitis AExternal link
      • Hepatitis B
      • Yellow feverExternal link
        • There is a risk of yellow fever in Brazil. Vaccination may be recommended depending on your itinerary however, proof of vaccination is not required to enter the country.
        • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccinations Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
  • Purchase travel health insuranceExternal link
  • Pack a travel health kitExternal link
  • Register with ROCA (Registration of Canadians Abroad)

Special precautions for Zika virus:

  • Pregnant women and those planning a pregnancy should avoid travel to the Olympics.
    • If travel cannot be avoided or postponed strict mosquito bite prevention measures should be followed due to the association between Zika virus infection and increased risk of serious health effects on their unborn baby.
  • After returning from Olympics:
    • For pregnant women, if you develop symptoms that could be consistent with Zika virus infection, you should consult a health care provider.
    • For women planning a pregnancy, it is strongly recommended that you wait at least two months before trying to conceive to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
    • For male travellers, Zika virus can persist for an extended period of time in the semen of infected males, therefore:
      • It is strongly recommended that, if you have a pregnant partner, you should use condoms for the duration of the pregnancy.
      • It is strongly recommended that you and your partner wait to conceive for six months by using a condom.
      • It is recommended that you should consider using condoms with any partner for six months.
    • Travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bitesExternal link at all times, as the Zika virus is transmitted by a mosquito that can bite in daylight and evening hours. These mosquitoes generally do not live or transmit disease at elevations above 2,000 meters.  A list of how to prevent insect bitesExternal link is available on the Government of Canada’s website.
    • Most people who have Zika virus illness will have mild symptoms that resolve with simple supportive care. If you are pregnant, or you have underlying medical conditions, or you develop more serious symptoms that could be consistent with Zika virus infection, you should see a health care provider and tell them where you have been travelling or living.

During your trip:

  • Practise safe food and water precautions
    • To protect yourself from food- and water-related diseases such as hepatitis AExternal link and travellers’ diarrhea.
    • Avoid swimming in fresh water, such as ponds, lakes and rivers, as there may be a risk of schistosomiasisExternal link. There is no risk of schistosomiasis if swimming in the ocean or in well-chlorinated pools.
  • Practise insect bite prevention
    • To protect yourself from diseases spread by insects such as chikungunyaExternal link, dengueExternal link, leishmaniasisExternal link, yellow feverExternal link, and Zika virusExternal link, which are present in Brazil and other parts of South America.
    • Depending on your itinerary, it may be recommended that you take medication to protect against malariaExternal link. If so, it is important to take the medication until it is finished, even after your return to Canada.
  • Protect yourself from animal-related diseases
    • There is a risk of rabiesExternal link in Brazil. Follow personal precautions to avoid contact with all animals, wild or domestic, and know what to do if you are bitten or scratched.
    • Avoid close contact with wild or domestic animals even if they appear friendly, especially dogs.
    • Don’t handle or feed wild animals or attract them with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Protect yourself from HIV/AIDSExternal link and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
    • Using condoms during vaginal, anal and oral sex reduces your risk of getting HIV or other sexually transmitted infections.
    • Avoid risky behaviour such as:
      • Unprotected sexual activity.
      • Excessive drinking or taking illicit drugsExternal link, which lowers your inhibitions and affects your ability to make healthy and safe choices.
      • Sharing razors, toothbrushes, needles, syringes or any other types of drug use equipment.
      • Getting a tattoo, body-piercing or acupuncture at a facility that does not follow good sterilization practices to prevent the spread of infections.
  • Be alert to crime
    • Global Affairs Canada provides information on safety and securityExternal link for Canadian travellers to Brazil.
    • Reduce your risks when attending mass gatheringsExternal link or large-scale events.
  • Pay attention to the weather
  • Drive with caution
    • The leading cause of death among international travellers is traffic accidents.
    • Expect traffic congestion and temporary and permanent road closures.
    • Avoid driving on unfamiliar and/or rural roads, especially at night.
    • Don’t drink and drive; excessive drinking is a leading cause of traffic accidents.
  • If you feel sick during your trip:
    • See a health care provider if you feel very unwell, especially if you have a fever. For more information on medical care abroad see sickness or injuryExternal link.

After your trip:

If you are sick after you return, see a health care provider and tell them where you have travelled.

  • If you travelled to a region where there is a risk of malariaExternal link, know the symptoms and seek medical attention immediately if a fever arises during or for up to one year after you return. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider that you have travelled to a region where malaria is present.
  • If during your trip you were bitten or scratched by an animal, see your health care provider and tell them about your exposure and any treatment you may have received.
  • If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about your recent travel.
  • Those returning from the Olympics should review and follow the recommendations found in the section: Special precautions for Zika virus.