Our Travel Doctor
Dr Man-Ying leads our Travel Medicine Services and has extended training in this area . She is also an avid traveller who has travelled to all 7 continents and over 60 countries. She has experienced extended solo overland backpacking trips, African camping safaris, the Amazon jungle, multi-day or high altitude trekking and mountain climbing, volunteering in rural settings so she will be able to provide the most relevant information for your trip. Our clinic provides a full range of travel vaccines including Yellow Fever and prescriptions for travel medications.
When to make an appointment?
An appointment 6-8 weeks before your date of travel gives time to order your vaccines. We keep vaccines in stock so that if the trip is unexpected we can still immunise you. We cannot provide travel advice over the phone.
- Yellow fever vaccine is compulsory for part of Africa and South America.
- Meningitis vaccine is compulsory for Saudi Arabia at the time of Haj. Yellow fever vaccine is compulsory for parts of Africa and South America.
For all Travellers
- Up to date childhood vaccines eg diphtheria, tetanus & whooping cough; measles, mumps & rubella
For Developing Countries
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Pneumonia (for at risk individuals)
- Tuberculosis (for those aged <5 on extended trips to certain countries)
- Japanese encephalitis (South East Asia)
- Meningitis (Meningitis belt in Africa and Hajj/Umrah)
Possible Side Effects
- Sore, red arm
- Fevers & feeling sick
- Anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction eg uncommon, throat swelling, wheezing, rash
If any of these symptoms occur you should seek immediate medical attention.
We are an approved centre for Yellow Fever vaccination. You will be provided with an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis which is now valid lifelong. This certificate has to be produced when travelling to and from affected countries as well as on your return to Australia.
Insect Avoidance Measures
Mosquitoes and other insects transmit malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, potentially fatal diseases. You can protect yourself with
- Insect repellent containing DEET at least 20%
- Wear light coloured clothing that covers the arms and legs
- Treat your clothes with permethrin
- Use insecticide treated mosquito nets or stay in screened accommodation
- Take Anti Malaria tablets
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU EAT & DRINK – BOIL IT, PEEL IT, COOK IT OR FORGET IT
Travellers diarrhoea comes from consuming contaminated food or drink. To prevent infection, always wash you hands before eating, and be selective in what you eat and drink. Avoid local water, ice, raw meat and raw foods including salads. We can recommend medications for self treatment of traveller’s diarrhoea.
Rabies is a potentially fatal disease that can be transmitted from animal bites and scratches. If you are bitten, wash the wound in soap and water and see a doctor where rabies immunoglobulin and vaccinations can be given. If you’re a frequent traveller or travelling to remote locations, it may be worthwhile to consider a course of pre-exposure vaccines.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
The only sure way to avoid STD’s is to abstain from sexual contact. Safer sexual practices such as using condoms may help prevent infection. Antibiotics will not prevent infection.
Altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness, is caused by acute exposure of low oxygen at high altitude. It can occur with rapid ascent to over 2500m above sea level but the risk increases with ascent to over 3000m. Symptoms can include headache, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath and difficulty sleeping. This can progress to high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral oedema (HACE) which can be fatal. The best way to prevent altitude sickness is to acclimatise by ascending gradually. We may also prescribe medications to aid acclimatisation.
Selecting Safe Transportation
Motor vehicle accidents are the number one killer of healthy travellers in foreign countries. Choose a safe vehicle eg official taxis or public transportation, choose a newer vehicle that has seatbelts, avoid overcrowded transportation and choose to travel during daylight hours especially in rural areas. If hiring a car, ensure that you familiarise yourself with the traffic rules of that country. If travelling with a child, consider bringing the child’s car seat with you from Australia.
Other Parasitic Infections
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic flat worm infection acquired from swimming in infected fresh water rivers and lakes especially in Africa. Hookworms and strongyloidiasis are parasitic worm infections that can be acquired by walking barefoot on infected soil or sand. During your travel consultation we can advise you on relevant tropical diseases and preventative measures.
Travelling with Prescription Medications
- Take only medicines for personal use.
- Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting to ensure the medicine is legal there.
- Carry a letter from your prescriber with your prescription medications.
- All medicines should be kept in their original container displaying your name and dosage and should be carried in hand luggage.
- Carry enough medicines plus extra in case of delay.
For more information contact the PBS Medicine Enquiry Line 1800 500 147 or visit www.medicareaustralia.gov.au
After your trip
If you have any of the following symptoms within a few months of your return, you may need a post travel check up.
- Persistent diarrhoea
- Stomach pains
- Dark colour urine
- Skin rashes or lumps
- Persistent cough
- Joint pain
Travel Health Costs
Medicare rebate is available for travel consultations, unless the travel is for employment purposes. You will be provided with a detailed price list for the recommended vaccines. Private Health Fund rebates may be claimable for vaccines. Please contact your Fund for further information.