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.