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PHILADELPHIA – More than 500,000 people are getting ready to travel to Brazil for the summer games. As with all high-profile events, attendees are advised to take precautions and be aware of their surroundings.

Medical and travel security company International SOS provides the following recommendations for people traveling to Brazil in the next few months.

Personal Health

  • Pregnant women are advised to defer travel.
  • Travelers should see their doctor at least six weeks before departure.  Vaccinations, including flu, should be up to date. Yellow fever vaccination and malaria medications might be recommended, depending on which locations in Brazil are being visited.
  • Follow general food and water safety precautions to minimize the risk of traveler’s diarrhea.
  • It is flu season in Brazil and the H1N1 virus is seeing resurgence. Travelers should ensure they pay close attention to hygiene and wash their hands frequently. 
  • Mosquito-borne viruses including dengue, chikungunya and Zika are present. In addition to being vigilant about preventing mosquito bites, precautions against sexual transmission of Zika need to be taken during and after travel.

Personal Safety

To date, there is no credible information that Brazil is subject to a terrorist attack. The main risks to travelers are opportunistic crimes.

  • Avoid petty crime by avoiding unwanted attention: keep a low profile (on the street and on the beach) and avoid flashing ‘wealth’ such as jewelry, smartphones and iPads.
  • Avoid high risk locations and be conscious of your surroundings. Favelas should be avoided.
  • Be alert for jewelry and purse snatching, spiking of drinks and bank/credit card fraud.
  • Be aware of the impact of alcohol on your judgment. 
  • Monitor the news and follow official security advisories. 

Around Town

  • Public transportation via subway and bus is recommended for travel within Rio. The city has made special public transport arrangements to ease travel congestion. 
  • Taxis can be safe, but should not be hailed on the streets. It is advised to get a taxi from your hotel.
  • Self-driving is not recommended.
  • Only exchange currency in authorised locations and banks to avoid receiving counterfeit money.
  • Be aware that credit card cloning is increasingly common, and monitor your statements for fraudulent activity. Consider using cash for smaller transactions.
  • English is not widely spoken in Brazil, but there will be bilingual volunteers to support spectators during the Games.
  • International SOS and Control Risks, the world’s leading global business risk consultancy, have provided advice and assistance to clients attending the world’s largest sporting events, including the Olympic Games in Beijing and London, Euro 2016, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

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