85 South St, Beaconsfield WA 6162

May 22, 2017

Travellers can protect themselves against Bali Belly

Do you ever seek health advice when travelling to Bali? Perhaps it’s time to have a chat to someone about how you can protect yourself and your fami

May 19, 2017

Typhoid Outbreak In New Zealand

If you want proof that vaccination against some diseases for certain destinations is important, you only have to look at the recent outbreak of Typhoi

May 18, 2017

Staff at International Travel Medicine conference

A few members of staff are currently missing in action. As proof that he is in fact working, Dr John Terry sent us this photograph of himself in Barce

May 15, 2017

Hepatitis B vaccines in stock

If your GP has given you a prescription for a Hepatitis B vaccine and your local pharmacy is unable to fill it for you, the good news is that we have

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Travellers can protect themselves against Bali Belly

Do you ever seek health advice when travelling to Bali? Perhaps it’s time to have a chat to someone about how you can protect yourself and your family next time you head abroad.

For most people, the tropical home-away-from-home is the perfect tropical getaway – especially during the winter months, however we urge you to think about your health next time you head to the Indonesian island of Bali.

Dr. David Rutherford, Travel Health Plus director says Bali-goers can now prepare themselves before they leave with a vaccine providing protection against E. coli bacteria and help them keep them Bali Belly free during their time away.

Whilst most travellers are aware of reducing the risk of Bali Belly by watching what they eat and drink, most are unaware of the oral Dukoral vaccine – which helps prevent diarrhoea caused by heat-labile toxin producing E. coli – and is available to anyone over the age of two years. In particular it is recommended for those at high risk of gastro such as diabetics and those with inflammatory or irritable bowel disease.

Dr. David Rutherford, Travel Health Plus director and doctor, says that there are many ways that travellers to Bali can protect themselves, one being the Dukoral vaccine.

“With people travelling to Bali so often it is easy to forget ways in which you can protect yourself from infection. Dukoral is an easy and inexpensive way for people to keep protected while away.

On average 30-50% are affected by Bali Belly during their holidays, however most people are still not seeking any travel advice before they leave.

“While more people are travelling, we need to be aware that vaccinations and travel health education play a vital role in keeping us all healthy, this message goes for all areas of the world, even those that may seem like a second home, such as Bali” said Dr. Rutherford.

Illnesses we are commonly more aware of, such as influenza, dengue fever, and travellers’ diarrhea, are still causing problems for travellers, warns Dr Rutherford, and need to be looked at with prevention in mind, especially for those in higher risk groups.

There are particular travellers who carry a higher risk and need to prioritise pre-travel advice, such as pregnant women, people with diabetes, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, or an impaired immune system, older travellers and young children as well as those visiting friends and family overseas.

Tips on protecting yourself against Bali Belly:

  • Avoid the tap water –  don’t drink the water and avoid brushing teeth with it
  • Buy bottled water
  • Wash or sanitise your hands regularly, especially after handling money
  • Eat at reputable and clean restaurants
  • Seek travel advice and talk through your vaccine options
  • Avoid certain foods, including raw fruits and vegetables

To book and appointment or find out how Travel Health Plus can assist you with your travel plans and staying healthy aboard, head to www.travelhealth.com.au or call (08) 9336 6630. For more general travel health advice about Bali,read our Bali fact sheet.

Pacific Islands Samoa

Typhoid Outbreak In New Zealand

If you want proof that vaccination against some diseases for certain destinations is important, you only have to look at the recent outbreak of Typhoid in Auckland, New Zealand. The outbreak was mainly confined to a small church community of pacific islanders with 22 confirmed cases, the majority of those infected requiring hospitalisation. The original contact is thought to have been from someone returning from a trip to the pacific islands.

Typhoid is a food and waterborne disease with a typical incubation period of 8-14 days and atypically up to 80 days. This means that an outbreak may emerge over the course of several weeks.

Australians love to holiday in the pacific islands, travelling to great locations such as Fiji and Vanuatu. Whilst vaccination against typhoid isn’t recommended for everyone, our medical staff will certainly consider it when looking at your itinerary.

John in Barcelona

Staff at International Travel Medicine conference

A few members of staff are currently missing in action. As proof that he is in fact working, Dr John Terry sent us this photograph of himself in Barcelona where he, doctors Raphael Beilin and Chris Rynn and our clinical nurse Helen, are attending the 4 day International Society of Travel Medicine conference. Having seen a few of the other photos he sent through, John has also found time to visit some of the wonderful sights that Barcelona has to offer. We are looking forward to hearing all about the conference on their return.

Meningococcal Risk Group

Hepatitis B vaccines in stock

If your GP has given you a prescription for a Hepatitis B vaccine and your local pharmacy is unable to fill it for you, the good news is that we have plenty in stock. We’re not a dispensary however so you will need to  make an appointment, either directly from our web site or by giving one of our friendly reception staff a call on 9336 6630.

Specialising in vaccines means we have larger numbers of vaccines in our fridge than most places, and often have stock when others run out.

For those looking for the meningococcal B or ACWY vaccines, we still have some supply of those too.

medical-staff

International Nurses Day

Today we celebrate all the wonderful caring nurses around the globe but I’d particularly like to thank those that work at our clinic. They are hard working, kind and friendly, always willing to go that extra mile for those around them – not just for patients but also other staff.

Caring, knowledgeable, fun loving and loyal,  on behalf of everyone, a big thank you for everything.

Adult travellers

Adults missing out on vaccines

Lots of attention is given to childhood vaccination but very little for adolescents and adults.
A recent article in the Medical Journal of Australia outlined the importance of adult vaccinations, both subsidised and not. With less than half of adults appropriately vaccinated according to national recommendations, it highlighted a huge gap in adult vaccination rates.
For individuals in certain age groups and/or with certain medical conditions,  the government provides some vaccinations for free. These include influenza, pneumonia and shingles vaccines. Estimates of the impact of influenza virus alone reveals 300,000 consultations with the doctor, 18,000 hospital admissions and 3000 deaths each year. Most of these are potentially avoidable with appropriate vaccination.  Influenza is very high risk for both mum and child in pregnancy, but whilst the influenza vaccine is free for pregnant mum’s, only 40% are vaccinated.
Other vaccines such as pertussis (whooping cough) are also important in pregnancy, and of relevance for the unimmunised newborn baby.  Parents and close family members are often not as well vaccinated as they could be and are encouraged to seek vaccination to avoid putting the child at risk.
Many adults continue to travel overseas un or under-vaccinated against  diseases. Partially immunised adults remain the main source of measles cases in Australia. Most of the recent cases around the country have been imported by Australians returning home from developing countries.

Dr David Rutherford

children

Measles in WA

Our recently posted Travel Alert after measles in travellers returning from Bali, prompted a comment from someone that only 4 cases in WA hardly seemed worth worrying about. On the surface this would seem like a reasonable observation. However, measles is one of the most contagious respiratory infections and whilst most people recover in 2-3 weeks, it can have severe complications, particularly in children under 12 months who are unable to be vaccinated, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. The state health departments in Australia treat measles cases as a severe threat to public health and go to great lengths to actively seek out anyone who may have come in contact with the person. This could be a large number of individuals and takes into account such things as shopping centres they have been to and planes they have returned on. You don’t have to know the person to be at risk. An example of how quickly measles can spread if there are enough people un-vaccinated and if the local authorities don’t get on top of it quickly enough, can be seen in the ongoing outbreak in Romania. This year so far it has been reported that at least 3446 people have been infected and 17 children have died as a result. A reminder of why we should all ensure our routine vaccinations are up to date, but especially before travelling overseas, where the risk of disease may be higher than it is at home.

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Yellow Fever in South America

The recent outbreak of Yellow Fever in Brazil has prompted changes to border requirements from a number of other South American countries, in an effort to stop the spread of disease. This includes countries who may previously have had no requirements at all or had restrictions based only on entry into the country and not on airport transit. Another example of things changing! Don’t be caught out at borders because you haven’t had the appropriate immunisations. Not only is it time consuming but it can also be costly. We recently heard of travellers who hadn’t seen a travel health specialist before going overseas and who were not allowed to board a flight from one South American country to another because they hadn’t had the Yellow Fever vaccination. They had to change plans and fly somewhere completely different instead. Costs included new airfares, non-refundable accommodation fees in one country and more accommodation costs in the new. Not covered by insurance.

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Protect your tribe for travel

Each year education is going further afield as schools, universities, and volunteer groups continue to see the benefits of learning beyond the classroom. Venturing abroad has the power to ignite creativity, trigger future potential, and give students cultural, economic, and social experiences that will last a lifetime.

When going abroad with a group, it is imperative to keep everyone healthy in order to protect those experiences – and that’s where Travel Health Plus comes in.

GROUP VACCINATIONS AND THE HOLISTIC TRAVEL HEALTH PLAN

Our dedicated Travel Health Coordinator, Helen de Kleine, is a registered nurse and leader of our schools, universities, and group travel sector. Keep your tribe safe with a holistic travel health plan.

Travel Health Plus offer:

  • Group vaccinations on-site or on location and at a time that is convenient to the group
  • Vaccinations based on the specific travel itinerary to ensure the correct coverage
  • Personal liaison with the group coordinator before, during, and after travel
  • Group talks to ensure every member of the group is getting the same health information
  • Individual self-treatment or tailor-made group medical/travel kits
  • Specific malaria advice based on itinerary
  • No out of pocket consult expenses for group organisers and students

TOP TIPS FOR YOUR SCHOOL TRIP

  1. Expect the unexpected
    Always carry a comprehensive medical kit including prescription medications and dressings.
  1. Vaccinations save lives
    Ensure your students have been vaccinated with childhood and destination specific vaccines.
  1. Prepare a ‘what to pack list’
    Remember to include culturally sensitive clothing, mosquito repellant, and water purification options.
  1. Have an emergency back-up plan in place
    Include each student’s medical history, emergency contacts, and evacuation information.
  1. Be Smart
    Register your trip with Smart Traveller (Department of Foreign Affairs) and subscribe to country updates.

The Doctors and Nurses at Travel Health Plus are vaccination specialists and experts in travel health. Make sure you contact Travel Health Plus as part of your group travel plan.

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Been there before? The health risks may have changed.

A recent communication from the WHO noted that there were more cases of Yellow Fever in Peru in 2016 than had been recorded in the past 10 years. Recent years have also seen outbreaks in Angola and Uganda in Africa. On the other hand, Rwanda has been taken off the Yellow Fever infected countries list, and Tanzania and Zambia’s risk has been downgraded.

WHO has also recently expanded the meningitis belt in sub-Saharan Africa, reflecting more widespread outbreaks. Rates of malaria are also varying from country to country around the world. West African countries continue to have the highest rates, but Sri Lanka has recently been declared malaria free. Vietnam is doing an excellent job in lowering its malaria rate, and many travellers going there no longer need routine antimalarial medications. With travel diarrhoea, a resistant bug, Campylobacter, has emerged in East and South Asia, and we have changed our recommendations for choice of antibiotic treatment in light of this.

All of which goes to emphasise the fact that health risks change not only with destination, but also over time. Previous travel to a certain part of the world doesn’t automatically mean the risks are the same next time you go there. It pays to check with an experienced travel health doctor before you visit developing countries, even if you’re an experienced traveller.
Dr Aidan Perse
Director