The Travel Health and Vaccine Specialists

Yellow fever in Brazil

Level 2

Practise special precautions

Updated: July 19, 2019


  • Updates have been made to reflect the latest vaccination recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Original publication date: February 2, 2017.

Current situation

An outbreak of yellow fever continues to evolve in parts of Brazil and in areas not normally deemed to be at risk of yellow fever transmission.

The WHO publishes updates on yellow fever vaccination recommendations for international travellers. Vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for travel to all areas at risk for yellow fever transmission in Brazil including Iguazu Falls, several areas of Bahia, and all of the following states: 

  • Acre
  • Amapá
  • Amazonas
  • Distrito Federal (including the capital city of Brasília)
  • Espírito Santo
  • Goiás
  • Maranhão
  • Mato Grosso
  • Mato Grosso do Sul
  • Minas Gerais
  • Pará
  • Paraná
  • Piauí
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Rio Grande do Sul
  • Rondônia
  • Roraima
  • Santa Catarina
  • São Paulo
  • Tocantins

For a complete map of areas at risk for yellow fever transmission in Brazil, including newly identified areas of risk, see the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s yellow fever distribution and areas of risk in Brazil, as of January 31, 2018.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a serious and occasionally fatal disease. It is caused by a virus which is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. The most effective way to prevent yellow fever is to be vaccinated.


Before your trip

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel.

Vaccination is recommended for anyone 9 months of age or older travelling to areas in Brazil with a known or potential risk for yellow fever transmission. 

If you cannot get vaccinated against yellow fever, consider not travelling to areas with risk for yellow fever transmission.

There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. Contact a Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre at least 6 weeks before you travel to make sure that the vaccine is available.

Get vaccinated at least 10 days before you travel to Brazil. The vaccine takes 10 days to take effect.

You will be provided with written proof of yellow fever vaccination in the form of an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.

If you are travelling to an area where proof of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter, you will need to travel with your International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This certificate is not valid until 10 days after the vaccine is administered.  

During your trip

Protect yourself from insect bites at all times, especially around sunrise and sunset, even if you have received the yellow fever vaccine.

Always take protective measures to avoid insect bites:

  • Wear long sleeves and long pants to cover exposed skin.
  • Use insect repellant on exposed skin.

After your trip

What to do if you become ill

If you develop symptoms of yellow fever such as fever, chills, headache, muscle pain (mostly back pain), jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting:

  • See your health care professional.
  • Tell them where you have been travelling or living.

Information for health care professionals

The Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT) has developed a Statement for Travellers and Yellow Fever. In addition, CATMAT has developed Interim Canadian recommendations for the use of fractional dose of yellow fever vaccine during a vaccine shortage. This statement is for use during yellow fever vaccine shortages only.

Find the latest WHO updates on Yellow fever vaccination recommendations for international travellers to Brazil.

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.Related links

Other Resources