2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Updated: April 28, 2016
Travel Health Notice
The 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games 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 Brazil, 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 Syndrome (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 bites.
For further information on current situation and recommendations to protect yourself please see the travel health notice Zika virus infection: Global Update and the Brazil travel advice and advisories 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 Brazil
- Get vaccinated
- Routine vaccines and adult boosters:
- Be up-to-date with your routine vaccines and adult boosters recommended for Canada, including measles (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:
- Routine vaccines and adult boosters:
- Purchase travel health insurance
- Pack a travel health kit
- 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 bites 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 bites 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 A and travellers’ diarrhea.
- Avoid swimming in fresh water, such as ponds, lakes and rivers, as there may be a risk of schistosomiasis. 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 chikungunya, dengue, leishmaniasis, yellow fever, and Zika virus, 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 malaria. 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 rabies 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/AIDS 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 drugs, 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
- Pay attention to the weather
- Remember to stay safe in the sun and stay hydrated.
- 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 injury.
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 malaria, 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.