South America Health Advice

Stay informed and be prepared

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South America is a continent with 26 countries. Health risks and conditions may vary from one destination to another. We recommend taking out travel insurance to cover any medical, hospital or repatriation costs.

Which vaccines do you need to visit South America?


To travel safely, you must be up to date with your basic vaccination (polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, BCG and MMR), regardless of your destination in South America.

Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for French Guiana and highly recommended for all other South American countries (including for young children from 9 months).

It is also mandatory if you have previously stayed in or passed through the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua or El Salvador.

Vaccination against hepatitis A and B, leptospirosis, typhoid fever and rabies is highly recommended.

Preventing infectious and parasitic diseases
in South America

Special caution is required throughout South America as regards diseases transmitted by mosquitoes: yellow fever, malaria, dengue, chikungunya and Zika. Preventive measures must be carefully followed:

  • Wear full-length clothing,
  • Treat textiles with insecticide,
  • Use suitable repellents on the skin,
  • Sleep with mosquito nets and use air conditioning.

The H1N1 flu virus is present in some countries. To limit the risks of transmission, we recommend that you take basic hygiene measures:

  • Regularly wash your hands,
  • Use single-use tissues,
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth,
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • If you experience any symptoms, see a doctor to obtain a prescription for an antiviral treatment.

Lastly, to prevent all risks of sexually transmitted diseases, we recommend taking the usual precautions.

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