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Before You Go
Zika Virus: Warning for Pregnant Travellers
Brazil has experienced an outbreak of Zika virus infections since 2015. Transmitted by mosquitoes, Zika rarely causes illness – only one in five infected people will experience the flu-like symptoms. The virus, however, has been linked to microcephaly (abnormally small head size with possible brain damage) in babies born to women who were infected while pregnant. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends pregnant women consider postponing travel to Brazil (and other countries where virus transmission is ongoing).
In Rio de Janeiro
Some private medical facilities in Rio de Janeiro are on a par with US hospitals. The UK and US consulates have lists of English-speaking physicians.
Clinica Galdino Campos The best hospital for foreigners, with high-quality care and multilingual doctors (who even make outpatient calls). The clinic works with most international health plans and travel insurance policies.
Pharmacies stock all kinds of drugs and sell them much more cheaply than in the West. However, when buying drugs anywhere in South America, be sure to check the expiration dates and specific storage conditions. Some drugs that are available in Brazil may no longer be recommended, or may even be banned, in other countries. Common names of prescription medicines in South America are likely to be different from the ones you’re used to; ask a pharmacist before taking anything you’re not sure about.
There are scores of pharmacies in town, a number of which stay open 24 hours.