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Six Health Tips for Foreigners Visiting Rio de Janeiro

By Scarlet Bringuenti Bennet, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Summer time has arrived in Rio de Janeiro and millions of people are heading to the city for sunshine, parties and the notorious Carnival. However, when coming to visit make sure to keep these health tips in mind.

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This picture was taken from the famous sunrise/sunset spot in Dona Marta, which looks over Rio’s beautiful landscape, photo by Scarlet Bringuenti Bennett.

Visiting the Local GP
It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that it is important to make a visit to the doctors four to six weeks prior to traveling anywhere. Ensure with the local GP that all vaccinations are up to date for this country and ensure you have an adequate supply of regular prescriptions.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a necessity when traveling to any country. Ensure to look early in order to get the best deal and always read the fine print before you buy, and take copies of your plan with you. Most will expect you to pay out-of-pocket when in Brazil, and then they say they will reimburse you, so keep all your receipts and medical reports should something happen.

Mosquito Protection
Mosquitos are one of the most deadly bugs in the world. Brazil’s Mosquitos are notorious for carrying yellow fever, dengue fever and leishmaniasis. When in Rio use plenty of mosquito repellent, get the yellow fever injection and if possible use a mosquito net when sleeping. These are all very simple solutions to avoid potential illnesses from the little suckers.

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These pesky creatures can really ruin the fun, and precaution must be taken when visiting Rio, photo internet recreation.

Watch What you Eat
Fruit and vegetables are sold everywhere on the streets of Rio and while perfectly safe, make sure they are properly and thoroughly washed to avoid a date with the toilet. Diseases such as, hepatitis A and typhoid can be prevented with vaccines however, it can not solve all potential stomach difficulties.

It is also advised that people should always drink filtered or bottled water in Rio as their sanitation system is not the best.

Fresh Water Swimming is not as Idillic as it May Seem
While the idea may seem tempting and look inviting, in reality the majority of fresh water harbors are infested with parasites. This could have very damaging effects on the body and ruin what would have been an amazing trip.

If the idea of fresh water swimming is too enticing to resist, talk to a local person or tour guide and make sure that it has been deemed safe to enter.

Slip, Slop, Slap!
Slip on a shirt, Slop on the 50+ sunscreen, Slap on a hat and never be burnt. In the height of summer temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees, which means the likelihood of sun damage is very high.

Make sure to drink plenty of water and if on the beach take initiative to rent a guarda sol (sun umbrella), which will provide some much needed shade.

Visiting Pregnant
It is advised that when visiting Rio, it is best not to do so pregnant however, is not compulsory. Pregnant women are very vulnerable to the Zika virus when coming to the country so it is crucial that thorough precautions are taken to avoid mosquito bites and that after returning an immediate test for the virus is done.

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