85 South St, Beaconsfield WA 6162

March 27, 2017

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 seeme

March 23, 2017

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 effor

March 17, 2017

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 classro

January 31, 2017

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. Rec

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

Meningococcal Risk Group

Meningococcal Disease

There has been lots of attention in the media recently around the very serious meningococcal disease. Caused by the same bacterium (Neisseria meningitidis), there are 13 types, of which five most commonly cause disease globally – A, B, C, W135 and Y. The disease is carried by droplet infection and can cause meningitis, septicaemia or a combination of the two. Although it can occur at any age, the majority of cases occur in the under 5 and 15-24 year age group.

Currently type W seems to be causing an unusually large proportion of cases here in WA. There are three different vaccines available for  A,C,W & Y strains . Only two are recommended by the Health Department for long term protection (Menveo and Menactra). Neither are subsidised and are often used in travelling patients, however they are available to the general public as needed.

Meningococcal C used to be a common strain in Australia but a vaccine against it was introduced 13 years ago as part of the childhood vaccine schedule. Since then it has virtually disappeared. Type B strain has been the most common strain in recent times. There is also a vaccine against meningitis B but with a world wide shortage, there are currently supply issues and we are putting people on a waiting list and contacting them as stock arrives. This vaccine is not government subsidised as yet.

Unfortunately there is no vaccine available which contains all these strains together.

Anyone concerned about the disease and wanting more information or vaccination, should make an appointment to discuss it with one of our experienced doctors.
Dr David Rutherford

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Xmas Opening Hours

A very exciting time of year (lots of wonderful places to go), its also one of our busiest, with plenty of people taking advantage of the holidays to head overseas in December and January. For this reason we advise you not to leave booking your appointment until the last minute and in particular take note of when we’ll be closing for a much needed break ourselves.

Normal opening hours up to and including Thursday 22nd December

Friday 23rd December     8:30am – 12:30pm

Closed 24th – 29th December

Friday 30th December     8:30am – 12:30pm

Closed until resumption of normal opening hours on Tuesday 3rd January.

 

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New Look Website

Over the weekend our new look website came online and we love it.  Existing patients will see that we have also had a brand refresh, just in time for summer. We’ve added Plus to our name to better reflect the full range of travel health, vaccination and other services that we provide. Even our luggage bag logo has had a spruce up. Be assured there has been no change to our ownership, staff or services, all of which we have been providing in the Fremantle area since 1998. You can now directly book an appointment online via Health Engine (great when you are browsing us after hours) and over the coming weeks you will also see the exciting addition of Live Chat. We look forward to seeing you soon.

measles

Measles Outbreaks in Australia

The WA Health Departments recent notification of measles in travellers returning from Japan and Indonesia, once again highlights the need to ensure you are fully immunised before travelling overseas to any destination, even developed countries. The routine vaccines covered in childhood, such as measles, diphtheria and whooping cough are often overlooked by adults, who may need boosters.

This year has seen a number of measles cases reported around Australia, all of them brought into Australia by travellers and most of them by un/under –immunised Australians returning home.
Measles is one of the most contagious illnesses known. Severe complications including pneumonia, are common. It spreads quickly to friends, family and colleagues on return if they are not already immunised.
The highest risk age groups are those born between 1966 and 1982 (34 -50 yrs) and unvaccinated children under 5.
Paula Johnstone RN

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Q Fever

By the middle of June 2016, 257 Australians have been diagnosed with Q-fever, a disease caused by microorganisms usually harboured by animals. It is mainly a disease of rural Australia and the livestock industries connected to it, particularly central southern QLD, central northern NSW and grazing areas of WA.
The responsible organism (Coxielle Burnetti) is found throughout the world, but the discovery linking the organism to the illness was made by Australian researchers in the early 20th century.
Cattle, sheep and goats can harbour infection, as well as Australian bandicoots, kangaroos and even dogs. Humans can be exposed in a variety of ways, either through direct contact with live animals (and especially birth fluids, urine, faeces and milk), with animal carcasses and products (such as vets and abattoir workers) and even through the environment, where the organism can survive long periods of drying in areas contaminated with animal fluids.
Infection causes a flu-like illness usually characterised by fever, sweats, headache, joint and muscle ache, fatigue, and other symptoms. Unlike viral flu-like infections, Q-fever can have rare and dangerous complications related to infection of heart muscle, bone and the liver and leaves a proportion of people with chronic fatigue syndrome. It can be prevented with a vaccination from registered providers who have the necessary skills required to test for and administer the Q-fever vaccine (Q-Vax). It must only be given to those who can demonstrate no evidence of prior infection, achieved with a blood sample and skin test.
Our clinic has been testing for and vaccinating against Q Fever for many years. Two consultations are required, a week apart. Our staff will be happy to guide you through the process.
Dr Michael Crouch