85 South St, Beaconsfield WA 6162

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

July 3, 2017

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** pi

June 30, 2017

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 themsel

June 22, 2017

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 us

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.

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