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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Increased Malaria in State of Rio de Janeiro

20 Mar 2015

On 18 March 2015 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Brazil is experiencing increased local transmission of malaria in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil reports approximately 6 cases per year from the forested, mountainous areas located in the central part of the state of Rio de Janeiro. In this same region, between 17 Jan to 25 Feb 2015, 23 cases of locally-acquired P. vivax malaria were identified. None of these cases were in the city of Rio de Janeiro which remains malaria-free.

The Brazilian Ministry of Health and Rio de Janeiro State public health authorities are taking measures to investigate and prevent new cases in the areas affected.

Advice for Travellers

Transmission is occurring in forested areas where vector control is challenging. Whilst chemoprophylaxis is not currently recommended personal protective measures such as use of insect repellent (50% DEET), wearing long loose fitting clothing, staying in air-conditioned or well-screened areas, or sleeping under an insecticide treated bed net should be encouraged.