Health Alert – COVID-19 and Dengue Precautions

Location: Brazil

Event: COVID-19 and Dengue Precautions

This health alert provides health information from the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia’s Health Unit regarding a frequently asked COVID-19 question as well as information on seasonal dengue preventive measures.

Can COVID-19 be spread through food (such as in a restaurant or take out)?

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets.  Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 via food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for general food safety.  Throughout the day use a tissue to cover your coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.  There is a small possibility that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, like a packaging container, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.  If in doubt, transfer food to another dish and wash your hands prior to eating.

Don’t forget about other seasonal preventive measures:  It is dengue season in Brazil and many areas have seen a large increase in cases.  For example, just in the Federal District there have been over 16,000 cases in 2020!  Please ensure you take the proper precautions to avoid contracting dengue, which can mimic many of the symptoms of COVID including fever and fatigue.  Wear long-sleeve protective clothing and mosquito repellant when outdoors and look around your housing area to check for any standing water which can be breeding sources for mosquitoes.

Actions to Take: