We know how much you love to travel because we do too! Whether your backpacking the outback, planning your honey or travelling for work, we have you covered.
Dr John Morris – our travel medicine expert
Dr John is a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine and has spent several years working with the Tropical Medical Bureau. He has worked overseas in The Philippines, Chad and Haiti with aid agencies such as Medicines Sans Frontiers and Haven. He twice worked with the World Health Organisation in Geneva, at first with the outbreak response unit and later conducting research on meningitis outbreaks and vaccinations in central Africa. Furthermore, he loves to travel! Dr John has extensive experience in tropical medicine and is happy to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about your trip abroad.
Dr John provides a full travel health service for both individuals and families including information on
- Travel vaccines
- Malaria prevention
- Common illnesses while abroad
- How to stay safe overseas
- How best to avoid diarrhoea
- Sun protection
- Protection from mosquitos and insects
- Preventing blood clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis) on long haul flights
- How to stay healthy while at altitude
Each trip is unique, so we tailor our service depending on the particular needs you will have. For example, you may be planning a trip to Thailand for one week, on the beach for a honeymoon, where only minimal vaccines would be required. The next time you see us may concern a trip to Thailand again, but this time for 2 months, in rural areas, teaching English to children. On this particular trip, many more vaccines may be advised, as well as malaria prevention medication. What vaccinations and advice you need before you travel depends on a few things…
- How long your trip will be
- The age of each traveller
- Where within certain countries you are travelling
- What you will be doing when you’re there
- Pre-existing medical conditions you may have
Please note: Travel Vaccines are a convenient, safe and effective way to protect you from certain diseases you may be exposed to by travel. Some vaccines must be administered eight weeks before travel. If you are unable to make this time frame, it is still worthwhile getting vaccinated as partial protection is remarkably better than no protection at all. If you have already been vaccinated, it is important to review your cover (what you were vaccinated for and if it is up-to-date) before travelling again.
Please make an appointment as soon as you know your itinerary so we can discuss the possible health risks, vaccinations and medicine you may need for your trip.
The following list describes some of the more common vaccines we use in travel medicine. Whether or not they are necessary for your trip will depend on several factors that you can discuss with your Doctor.
- Tetanus vaccine boosters are recommended every 10 years as an adult up to the age of 65 years old. This vaccine is particularly important before travelling overseas.
- The tetanus vaccine is a combined vaccine which also covers Diphtheria and Polio.
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis A is a virus that infects your liver. It is most commonly picked up from contaminated food and water, and it is one of the most common infections contracted by travellers abroad who are not vaccinated.
- It causes high fevers, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellow colouring of the skin and eyes). You are contagious while unwell and may need to be quarantined for up to 6 weeks.
- Typhoid can be quite a serious illness. It causes very high fevers, diarrhoea or constipation, joint swellings and sometimes a rash. Vaccination is recommended for travel to most parts of the world.
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B has some similarities to HIV/AIDS in how it is transmitted. The primary mode of transmission is sexual, however, unlike HIV/AIDS, it can also be picked up from saliva. It can cause a severe illness in the early stages for some people, but many individuals who pick-up the virus may not even know they have it. Unfortunately, this virus is linked to serious life-long risk of liver cancer and liver failure for 1 in 20 people who contract it.
- It can also be picked up by blood contact with others, assaults (including sexual assaults), human bites, and contaminated blood transfusions in hospitals.
- Vaccination is recommended if you are travelling in a country that has high population rates of hepatitis B such parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is especially recommended if you are likely to be
- Travelling for six weeks or more in a high-risk area
- Sexually active during your trip
- Travelling off the beaten path – this increases the likelihood of serious injury and blood contact
- Rabies is still a major problem around the world, and particularly in some high-risk regions such as Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Rabies is a virus that attacks the brain and nervous system after receiving a bite from an infected animal. Warm-blooded animals such as dogs, monkeys and bats are the most likely to cause such a bite.
- Rabies vaccines are not considered 100% effective, but you should still get vaccinated before you travel. You may need additional boosters in the event of getting a bite from an animal.
- Rabies vaccines can buy you time and are recommended for certain travellers in particular parts of the world.
- Children are particularly at risk of animal bites and can be offered rabies vaccines if travelling to high-risk areas.
- Rabies accounts for approximately 60,000 deaths per year worldwide.
- Yellow Fever
- Yellow fever is a virus transmitted by mosquitos. It causes very severe illness including high fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin – hence the name), and in some cases goes on to cause more server disease and death.
- It is a requirement to show proof of vaccination against yellow fever when travelling to some countries in Africa and South America (The Yellow Book).
- Yellow Fever Vaccine (YFV) is a live virus vaccine and therefore not suitable for all travellers. We will ensure that you are fit to receive it during our consultation and if not, we will advise you on what you can do when travelling.
- For some travellers such as aid workers, overseas volunteers, teachers and patients travelling to parts of Africa in the Spring time, meningitis vaccines are recommended.
- It is also a visa requirement to have proof of meningitis ACYW-135 vaccination before travel to Saudi Arabia for religious events.
- Cholera/E Coli Vaccine
- Cholera is a very serious diarrhoeal disease that can be life-threatening in a matter of hours. It can be picked up from contact with other infected individuals or from contaminated drinking water and food.
- The cholera vaccine also provides some protection against E. coli which can also cause severe diarrhoea.
- This vaccine is never a substitute for basic precautions against diarrhoeal disease such as proper hand washing and being careful about food and water you consume when you are abroad.
- Influenza Vaccine (Flu Jab)
- The flu vaccine is as important in other parts of the world as here at home, and if you are in the risk groups for influenza, we will recommend the vaccine before travel.
- Japanese Encephalitis
- This virus is transmitted by mosquitos in some areas of South East and Southern Asia. It can cause severe illness and death in those infected. It accounts for approximately 59,000 deaths per year around the world.
- Although it is a rare disease, this vaccination is recommended for some travellers, particularly those travelling for extended periods of time in a high-risk area.
- Other Vaccines
- Other vaccines relevant to your trip are available upon request and after consultation with your doctor.