Fiji comprises an archipelago of 330 volcanic tropical islands, some of which are quite remote and underdeveloped compared to the main Islands of Vitu Levu, where most of the population lives. The country has strong mining, forrestry, fishing and tourism industries. Common reason for Australians to travel include brief stopovers as a part of a Pacific cruise, family resort holidays, diving trips and school group trips to help in orphanages and schools. These islands are prone to cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis. Australians may also travel for aid work post natural disaster.
The following information provides some broad and general guidelines about health risks and recommendations for travel to these islands. This should not be taken as a substitute for a personal consultation with one of our travel health doctors, whose advice will be specific for you and your trip and may include other issues not mentioned here.
Six to eight weeks out from departure is a good time to have a travel health consultation. You may need blood tests to check immunity to diseases or need a course of vaccines like rabies for example, and this gives you plenty of time to get everything completed. If you are travelling sooner however it's not too late for an appointment, simply make one as soon as you can.
In Fiji mozzies transmit a number of viruses which have been on the increase due to global warming, changing environments and human travel. These include dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika (which may cause birth defects in pregnant women). All of these viruses are preventable by taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites during the daytime through use of DEET based repellents.
Travellers diarrhoea, giardia and dysentery are just some of the illnesses caused by contaminated food and water. Tap water in Fiji is often not safe to drink.
Travellers should be up to date for routine childhood vaccines such as tetanus, measles and hepatitis B. Any of the following vaccines may also be recommended – hep A, typhoid and influenza. and in some cases meningitis ACWY. Decisions regarding which are most appropriate depend on duration and nature of travel, itinerary, age, underlying medical conditions and past vaccination.
Hepatitis A vaccination is often recommended for travel to Fiji.Read More
A food and water borne disease, typhoid vaccination may be recommended.
Influenza is one of the most common vaccine preventable illnesses in travellers. In tropical climates there is no 'flu season', risk being all year round. Particularly important if cruising.Read More
In 2018 there was an increase in meningitis cases in young people in Fiji. Vaccination with the meningitis ACWY vaccine may be recommended for certain travellers.Read More
Observe strict food and water safety precautions. Observe good hand hygiene. Consider taking a water filter and a well stocked self treatment medication kit with guidelines for treatment if travelling remote. Seek medical advice if persistent or severe illness, particularly for infants, the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.Read More
Coral cuts, box jellyfish, stonefish and sea urchins all pose a risk to swimmers, divers and snorkelers. Seek local advice for prevention and immediate first aid for treatment. Seafood poisoning (ciguatera toxin) can be avoided by not eating large reef fish, such as snapper, groper, and barracuda (even if well cooked). For dive emergencies there is a hyperbaric chamber in Suva.
This traditional national drink, made from the ground roots of a member of the pepper family, is frequently offered to tourists. It induces a feeling of pleasant relaxation and is probably generally safe, however interactions with prescription medications, particularly psychoactive substances, are unpredictable. It should probably also be avoided in combination with alcohol, in pregnancy and breastfeeding and in those with serious medical conditions.
As there is no non-essential overseas travel at this time this article will simply remain as an information resource for COVID-19. See our main COVID-19 page for more detailed information. We hope to be able to inform our travelers once again after this crisis passes. The links below remain trustworthy
Over 48,000 cases of dengue fever have been reported in Sri Lanka since 1st October 2019, a significant increase in incidence. Travellers should observe strict mosquito avoidance measures, particularly during daylight hours.
As a result of recent outbreaks of measles in various countries, the Solomon Islands' will be requiring arriving travellers from/via American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Philippines, Samoa, or Tonga to show proof of measles vaccination, effective December 28th 2019. Vaccination needs to have been at least 15 days prior and