2016 Summer Olympics: Stay healthy on the road to Rio


The 2016 Summer Olympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5 to August 21, 2016. The Paralympic Games are scheduled for September 7 to September 18, 2016. If you plan to travel to Brazil for the Olympics or Paralympics, follow the recommendations by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) below to help you stay safe and healthy.

Brazil, along with many destinations in the Americas, is experiencing an outbreak of Zika virus. Because Zika virus infection in pregnant women can cause serious birth defects, CDC has  special recommendations for pregnant women traveling to Brazil.

Zika Virus in Pregnancy

A Zika virus outbreak is currently ongoing in Brazil. Because Zika virus infection in a pregnant woman can cause serious birth defects, CDC recommends special precautions for the following groups:

  • Women who are pregnant:
    • Do not go to the Olympics.
    • If you must go, talk to your doctor or other health care provider first; strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bitesand use condoms or do not have sex during your trip.
    • If you have a male partner who goes to the Olympics, either use condoms or do not have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) during your pregnancy.
  • Women who are trying to become pregnant:
    • Before you or your male partner travel, talk to your doctor or other health care provider about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection.
    • SeeCDC guidance for how long you should wait to try to get pregnant after travel to areas with Zika.
    • You and your male partner should strictly followsteps to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Men who go to the Olympics and have a pregnant partner should use condoms or not have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) during the pregnancy.

What can travellers do to protect themselves?

Before your trip:

During your trip:

  • Follow security and safety guidelines.US travelers may be targets for criminals during mass gatherings.
    • If possible, don’t travel at night, avoid questionable areas, and travel with a companion.
    • If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Drunk people are more likely to hurt themselves or other people, engage in risky sex, or get arrested.
    • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
    • Carry the contact information for the nearest embassy or consulate in Brazil. The local emergency service numbers are 190 for the police, 192 for ambulance, and 193 for fire department. Note that these local emergency phone numbers are available in Portuguese only.
    • Follow all local laws and social customs.
    • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
    • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
    • If possible, choose hotel rooms on the second through the sixth floors. A room on the first floor of a hotel may provide easier access for criminals. Rooms on the seventh floor or above may be difficult to escape in the event of a fire.
  • Follow food and water safety guidelines. Eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water can cause illnesses such ashepatitis Atyphoid fever, and travelers’ diarrhea. Read about how to prevent these diseases by visiting the Safe Food and Water  Beware of food from street vendors, ice in drinks, and other foods and drinks that may be contaminated and cause travelers’ diarrhea. Download our mobile app  “Can I Eat This?” to help you make safe food and water choices while you are traveling. The app is available free for iPhone and Android.
  • Prevent mosquito bites and use insect repellent.Diseases spread by mosquitoes, such asZikamalariadengue, and yellow fever, are common throughout Brazil. Read more about ways to prevent bug bites by visiting the Avoid Bug Bites  You may also need to takeprescription medicine to protect against malaria or get a vaccine against yellow fever. Zika virus can also be spread by infected men through sex; condoms can reduce this risk. Talk to your doctor or other health care provider about prevention steps that are right for you. See maps for yellow fever and malaria risk areas.
    • CDC recommends that pregnant women not go to the Olympics. Learn more in the “Zika Virus in Pregnancy” section on this page.
  • Follow guidelines for hot climates.Dehydration and heat-related illnesses are common during sporting events. Drink plenty of (bottled!) water, keep cool, and wear sunscreen. Read more about how to prevent these conditions by visiting the Travel to Hot Climates and Sun Exposure
  • Avoid swimming in fresh water—lakes and rivers.Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection that can be spread in fresh water that may cause serious health problems.
  • Reduce your risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).The celebratory atmosphere at the Olympics may encourage travelers to engage in risky sex, especially if they are drinking or using drugs. Condoms can prevent HIV and other STDs. Carry condoms that were purchased from a reliable source. Read more about how to prevent these conditions by visiting the Traveler STD
    • Sexual transmission of Zika virus from a man to his sex partners is possible. If you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a male partner while traveling, you should use condoms.
  • Choose safe transportation.  Read about ways to prevent transportation injuries by visiting the Road Safety
  • Reduce your exposure to germs. Wash your hands often, and avoid contact with people who are sick. Read more about reducing your exposure to germs in the Stay Healthy and Safe section of theBrazil

If you feel sick during your trip—

  • Talk to a doctor or nurse if you feel seriously ill, especially if you have a fever.
  • For more information about medical care abroad, see Getting Health Care Abroad.
  • If you don’t speak Portuguese and require assistance with a health issue, see our list of common Portuguese health terms and phrases.
  • Avoid contact with other people while you are sick.

Information courtesy: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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