Up-to-date and ready to travel

Shepparton News - - NEWS - By Sion­nie Kelly www.smar­trav­eller.gov.au/guide/all-trav­ellers/health/Pages/health-checks-and­vac­ci­na­tions.aspx

For many peo­ple a quick trip to the doc­tor is a sure-fire way of mak­ing sure all your vac­ci­na­tions are up-to-date and you are fit to travel. The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Smart Trav­eller web­site in­cludes a sec­tion called ‘Health checks and vac­ci­na­tions’, which rec­om­mends peo­ple start travel health plan­ning at least six weeks be­fore head­ing abroad. Health plan­ning can be tai­lored to suit the coun­try you are trav­el­ling to and some peo­ple may find, if they are up-to-date with their vac­ci­na­tions, they do not need to be im­mu­nised against any­thing. But this, of course, de­pends on where you are trav­el­ling. Kialla Med­i­cal Clinic’s John Mackel­lar helps pre­pare many peo­ple for trav­el­ling over­seas and said cer­tain vac­ci­na­tions were re­quired for cer­tain coun­tries. ‘‘Vac­cines are given to peo­ple to pre­vent them from be­com­ing in­fected with a se­ri­ous dis­ease,’’ he said. Dr Mackel­lar said the first thing he did with a pa­tient when they told him they were trav­el­ling over­seas was find out if they were up-to­date with their vac­ci­na­tions. He then looks at what coun­try they are trav­el­ling to and sees if they needed any vac­cines such as ty­phoid fever or hep­ati­tis A, which peo­ple do not re­ceive when they are born. In some coun­tries there may be out­breaks of cer­tain ill­nesses. Dr Mackel­lar said Spain was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a hep­ati­tis A out­break and Syria a po­lio out­break. But these ill­nesses are not the only ones Aus­tralians should be wary of. Ill­nesses such as whoop­ing cough are still wide­spread in Aus­tralia and Dr Mackel­lar said it was im­por­tant for peo­ple to be aware te­tanus and whoop­ing cough needed to be up­dated. The te­tanus vac­cine lasts about 10 years, while whoop­ing cough may last five to 10 years. Dr Mackel­lar said South Aus­tralia had re­ported more than 720 cases of whoop­ing cough, which would be a lot less if adults were vac­ci­nated against it. When it comes to up­dat­ing vac­ci­na­tions or see­ing what vac­ci­na­tions you may need, a good place to start is with your fam­ily doc­tor and gen­eral in­for­ma­tion about coun­tries and vac­ci­na­tions can also be found at Dr Mack­eller said peo­ple could show their doc­tor a record of vac­ci­na­tions they had re­ceived as a child — they may have a vac­ci­na­tion book.

Pic­ture: AAP

Im­por­tant: Check­ing what vac­ci­na­tions you need to travel over­seas is a nec­es­sary step when plan­ning a trip.

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