85 South St, Beaconsfield WA 6162

August 25, 2017

Travellers cautioned to be wary of Rabies

With winter well and truly here and school holidays just around the corner, West Aussies are flocking to warmer weather and doctors are urging travell

August 24, 2017

Last week for on campus Free Meningococcal Vaccines

Next week will see the final University of Notre Dame free meningococcal ACWY vaccine clinics run on campus in Fremantle. Monday’s clinic will b

August 18, 2017

Meningitis ACWY Clinic at University of Notre Dame

Wednesday afternoon saw staff  in the Student Recreation Hall at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, for the first of a series of immunisatio

July 12, 2017

Top 10 countries Australian’s visit and virus threats

The below infographic outlines the top 10 travel destinations for Australian’s and provides a snapshot of virus threats from drinking water and mosq

Rabies-blog-image

Travellers cautioned to be wary of Rabies

With winter well and truly here and school holidays just around the corner, West Aussies are flocking to warmer weather and doctors are urging travellers to think more about the deadly and preventable infection – rabies – next time they are abroad.

Rabies is one of the oldest, most feared human infections; once symptoms appear, rabies has the highest fatality rate, virtually 100%, of any known human infection and is something which can be easily avoided.

Dr Aidan Perse from Travel Health Plus says many travellers don’t even think about rabies when they are travelling overseas despite the fatal consequences of contracting the infection.

“We see on average one to two people a week for rabies treatment, which is not only a huge cost to our state government, it is something which can be easily prevented through education and awareness.”

“With so many people heading to warmer destinations, such as Asia over winter, it’s important they know to stay away from stray animals – no matter how friendly they appear. Don’t coax them to come near you for food or selfies – it’s just not worth the risk,” said Dr Perse.

Travel Health Plus recently treated a patient, Robert May, who had been holidaying in Bali and noticed a stray dog while out and about with his granddaughter. When he turned his back to the puppy, it bit him on the back of the calf prompting the patient to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent rabies.

“If I knew more about rabies, I would have known the high risk of going near the dog and reassessed my options. Once symptoms appear there is no cure, which is obviously really serious, and I think this needs to be made more publicly aware.” said Mr May.

Travel Health Plus urge patients of higher risk such as those who may be working closely with animals, anyone moving overseas or travelling for extended periods of time, and those travelling in remote locations to seek the rabies vaccine prior to heading overseas as medical advice and treatment may not readily be available if they’re exposed.

Smart travelling and planning can easily prevent travellers being exposed to this dangerous infection, avoiding contact with bats and monkeys could help mitigate potentially serious health risks.

Dr Aidan Perse says it’s important for travellers to have a consultation with a travel health clinic a couple of months prior to departing. This will ensure that the specific travel itinerary is reviewed and the necessary vaccines and preventative education are delivered.

If you are planning on heading overseas, book your appointment with Travel Health Plus on (08) 9336 6630.

Meningococcal Risk Group

Last week for on campus Free Meningococcal Vaccines

Next week will see the final University of Notre Dame free meningococcal ACWY vaccine clinics run on campus in Fremantle. Monday’s clinic will be reduced hours, from 11am until 4pm (we’ve discovered you don’t like to get out of bed early). Wednesday’s will start at the advertised time of 1:45pm and will run until 5pm, but only if there is demand – we may close up earlier so don’t leave it until the last minute.

UND immunisation clinic2

Meningitis ACWY Clinic at University of Notre Dame

Wednesday afternoon saw staff  in the Student Recreation Hall at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, for the first of a series of immunisation clinics we are running delivering the free Meningitis ACWY vaccine to 15-19 year olds as part of the WA Health Departments current program. There were plenty of students ready and waiting before we had even set up and all of us enjoyed meeting and interacting with a great group of people.

See our web page for more details http://www.travelhealth.com.au/services/student-vaccinations/meningococcal-vaccination/

Top 10 countries Australian’s visit and virus threats

The below infographic outlines the top 10 travel destinations for Australian’s and provides a snapshot of virus threats from drinking water and mosquitos as well as generalised health warnings.

This information is provided as a general guideline and is only up-to-date at the time of publishing. Please consult your travel doctor for personalised, itinerary specific advice.

Travel Health Infographic_Top 10 Countries and Disease Risks v2

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Minaret

Haj and Umra 2017- Saudia Arabia

With the Hajj and Umra pilgrimage approaching, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has published its entry requirements for 2017. For Australian** pilgrims flying direct to Saudi Arabia, the following applies:

  • Meningococcal vaccination (ACWY) for all travellers 2 years and over.
  • The vaccine must have been administered more than 10 days prior to arrival and no more than 3-5 years ago.
  • There are two different types of meningococcal ACWY vaccine. The polysaccharide vaccines are valid for three years, the conjugate for 5 years. Certificates must clearly state which type of vaccine has been given in order for it to be accepted for entry.
  • The Saudi Health Department recommends but does not require the annual flu vaccine.

**Travellers arriving from other countries may have additional requirements for entry.

With large numbers of people coming together in the one place, the Hajj can be extremely stressful, with the risk of illness significantly increased. This is particularly so for the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those with complicated medical histories and/or immunocompromised. Our doctors caution that all travellers to the Hajj should seek travel health advice prior to departure; all routine immunisations should be up to date and Hepatitis A vaccination is highly recommended as a minimum.

Student group travelling_boating

Keeping healthy on school trips

Some students are lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel the world as part of a travel group and it’s important for students to keep themselves as safe as possible to ensure they are getting the most out of their time abroad.

Ensuring students’ health while overseas starts with a visit to one of our doctors at Travel Health Plus and finding out about how illness can be prevented while travelling overseas. We love seeing student groups travelling to different corners of the world, all doing fantastic work and providing students with valuable life lessons.

We do however, also see these same students returning from their trips with a wide range of preventable diseases, from measles and chicken pox, to giardia and malaria.

Recently, we came across a student returning from their trip after being infected with measles – which was not only unpleasant for the student, it also caused issues with the school and the local health department. All of which were easily preventable with a simple vaccine and pre-travel health care.

It is recommended that students be educated about what they should and shouldn’t be eating and drinking during their time away. In another case we saw a 16-year-old student drink inadequately purified water and fall very ill with giardia – with symptoms persisting for weeks after her return home, missing important school time and exams.

With an illness such as travellers diarrhoea there are many preventative measures which travellers can implement not only during travels but also before they go away.

We have also experienced a student returning from Cambodia presenting with malaria, which is a potentially fatal illness which can be prevented with the correct advice and medication before leaving.

At Travel Health Plus we have extensive experience liaising with student groups. We also maintain direct contact with popular umbrella organisations such as World Challenge, Antipodeans, Rustic Pathways and World Youth Adventures and welcome the opportunity to discuss each group’s individual needs.

Some of the things we can offer include:

  • Personal liaison with group coordinators to ensure best health outcomes for the student.
  • Consistent health advice for all group participants – everyone gets the same advice and recommended the same immunisations.
  • Group talks available to inform all students, parents and staff of health risks.
  • Specific malaria advice based on the group’s exact location and sleeping arrangements.
  • Individual or group appointments – we can allocate a block of time for all students to attend the clinic together or organise to come out to the school or university and vaccinate on site.
  • Individual self-treatment or tailor-made group kits – for self-treatment of simple illnesses such as travellers’ diarrhoea, destination specific group medication kits and comprehensive first aid kits.
  • Direct liaison with medical staff whilst overseas or prompt post travel follow up upon return.

We want overseas trips to be memorable for all the right reasons, which is why our aim is to minimise health dramas, particularly in young students – many of which might be going overseas for the first time.

For more information on our student group travel services please contact our reception staff or group travel coordinator:
Helen de Kleine RN
Certificate in Travel Health®
Clinical Nurse / Group Travel Coordinator
T: 08 9336 6630
F: 08 9336 6631
helen.dekleine@travelhealthplus.com.au

motorbike travel

The Dangers of Roads In Developing Countries

For the uninitiated, crossing the road in a busy Vietnam city such as Ho Chi Minh can be a harrowing experience, although one that most of us get used to fairly quickly. Basically if you waited for a break in the traffic you could potentially stand on the pavement all day. Following the example of locals you simply step out into oncoming traffic, walking steadily and without stopping, the idea being that the cars and motorbikes avoid you. Personally I find the only way I can do it is if I  look ahead at the opposite side of the road and not at the vehicles bearing down on me.

Have you been to India? Big city roads are congested, road rules often ignored and honking constant. Following a trip to India last year, upon returning to Perth we marvelled at how quiet the roads seemed. The ABC recently reported that India has some of the deadliest roads in the world, government statistics showing 150,000 people dying on the road annually. The Indian transport minister is reported to have said that more Indian people have died in road accidents than in wars.

Take care when travelling on or crossing roads when overseas. Choose your vehicle carefully, make sure it looks and is roadworthy, always wear a seatbelt and think twice and then a third time before hiring a motor bike. Western countries have safety standards for a reason and you should aim for at least the equivalent, particularly when travelling on roads that are far busier and less controlled than those at home.  Whilst the locals may be happy to get on overcrowded buses and ferries and although it may be significantly inconvenient to wait for something else, consider that it might be  also be considerably safer.

 

 

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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.