Author Archive

Consider Q Fever Vaccination


 Dr Olga Ilic – GP Shepparton Travel Clinic

Q fever is a disease found within Australia – yet many Aussies have never heard of it. Despite there being an effective vaccine, Q Fever continues to cause illness and suffering.

Q fever most commonly causes an illness resembling the flu. Symptoms may include high fevers, joint and muscle aches, headaches, and extreme fatigue and may last many weeks. Sometimes, more severe illness including heart disease, pneumonia, hepatitis and persistent profound fatigue can occur. Often diagnosis is difficult and the costs of health care may be high.

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Lessons from Peru


Dr Joan Chamberlain TMA member Rockhampton

Yes, yes I know we can’t travel overseas presently, but true travellers will still have passports, suitcases, and travel wish list handy. I recently had 2 comments that reflected this.

Lady early in the day, “You will never get me travelling again, it is just too dangerous, especially those cruises”.

Gentleman later the same day, “You know I have my next cruise booked. I cannot wait to get travelling again.”

Pick the traveller.

Last year on the 26th December 2019 we left to go to South America. This was the last big combined family holiday before the clan begins to break away, settle and possibly start to have families of their own. We chose South America as our children, Hubby and I have always wanted to travel to South America and particularly to see Machu Picchu and to visit the Galapagos Islands. So, we did, and now in retrospect, our timing could not have been better, arriving back in Oz on 25th January 2020, as the world was starting to spin out of control.

Our plans included 7 of the party of 11 trekking the Quarry Trail and the last day of the Inca trail into Machu Picchu, going to Lake Humantay and up to the amazing Rainbow Mountain, then in the Galapagos a boat cruise and snorkelling with the sea lions. Jealous yet? I hope so. I will provide pictures to entice. It was indeed a most memorable and wonderful experience from all aspects, the scenery, the cultures, the food experience, and the people we met on the way.


Group at Machu Pichu

Getting close to the Wildlife in Galapagos









There were some lessons on the way. As always Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Practical Performance.

Travel Advice.


1.     Research where you are going and understand the conditions and circumstances that may cause delays or changes to plans, allow a little extra time for such events. Leave a spare day here and there. The odd day unfilled can be easily filled with newfound activities, but in a country like South America, that day gives you a buffer day for the inevitable changes in plans, flights, and unforeseen delays. This allows you to be back on track and not lose the momentum of the rest of your trip.

2.     Research the insurance cover you may need. We discovered most insurance policies will not cover you above 3,000 m. Even Cusco itself is above this height, so a broken ankle, from a trip on cobblestones or at the ruins, or a trip to hospital with severe gastroenteritis is all on your pocket. We needed altitude cover (Rainbow mountain 5,000m). Then check out the medical cover, we had some in our party with well controlled chronic health issues (Epilepsy and inflammatory Bowel disease). Not all insurances covered these, and those that did, had a small loading.

3.     Research Phone cover and access. No one covered Peru for international roaming. So we found out how to use public and hotel Wi-Fi and this provided more than sufficient. Fortunately, we were prepared for this and did not get a nasty surprise bill on our arrival home. See if your insurance covers your phones and cameras. We had 2 phones go down over the trip and insurance helped a lot.

4.     Research your vaccinations. I soon discovered that some of our party had been less than attentive to the Government provided vaccines in their youth, and some had lower immune counts than I was comfortable with. Fortunately, we started the schedules early. Good cost saving with Intradermal Rabies as the entire 11 of us needed this. Allow for your vaccines in your holiday costings as this can be an expensive but vital part of the holiday preparations.

5.     Research the places you are going for local rules and safety issues, from water safety to risk of violence and personal safety. Get advice and up to date information for each area, and have a heightened sense for property and personal safety.

There is so much more we learned, but most importantly we learned that a well planned and exciting holiday is the most amazing experience you can have.

Experiences like this only heighten your desire to see and do more.

So, keep dreaming and planning. The world will eventually be open for the adventures to begin again.


Author at Lake Humantay







Group at Rainbow Mountain. Vinicunca — also known as the Mountain of Seven Colors, or more simply Rainbow Mountain — was discovered only recently when the snow covering it melted, revealing the natural beauty of the rock beneath. Formed by weathering, environmental conditions and sedimentary deposits over time, the mountain’s unique minerology created a marbling effect.



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The Australian Quarantine Experience – Doctors perspective


Dr Jo-Anne Grey

TMA member based in Melbourne

Since the bottom fell out of international travel with the global spread of the SARS-CoV2 and the subsequent declaration of the pandemic by the WHO, my life as a day-to-day travel medicine practitioner has changed dramatically.  As part of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 response workforce, I now spend my days in Melbourne’s quarantine hotels, conducting telehealth consultations with returned travellers in their hotel rooms and donning and doffing PPE to make “house calls” to rooms where necessary.

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Covid-19 and cruising


Dr Stanley Khoo, TMA member
Travel Medicine Centre Perth

The fresh sea air, the relaxing motion of the ocean, the high staff to passenger ratio, these are some of the many factors that have attracted people to cruise travel. Some destinations such as the Arctic and the Antarctic can only be accessible by boat, and sometimes a cruise ship with its remarkable facilities is the destination itself; a miniature city of restaurants, cinemas, concerts, casinos, night clubs and swimming pools, with a plethora of entertainment opportunities and unlimited food and drink.

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Aeroplanes parked in the desert….

Dr John Kenafake – Sunshine Coast Dive & Travel Medicine


Aeroplanes parked in the desert -🌵It doesn’t bode well for international travel.












Welcome to the travel blog you’re having when you’re not travelling. I will deliberately NOT use the “C “ word [that’s Covid] much as we are all inundated with information on the dastardly virus. Besides, anything I write will probably be out of date by the time this is uploaded.

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To take or not to take. That is the question.

Dr Catherine Meehan.  McLeod St Medical  Cairns


To Be or Not to Be

Travel vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis.  To take or not to take. That is the question.

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Going Home To Visit Grandma

Dr Chris Davenport , TMA Boronia


It’s Monday morning, another busy day in General Practice filled with the usual interesting patients – for blood pressure reviews, medication repeats, women’s health discussions and children with the latest coughs and colds.

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Scuba Diving for the first time in my late 40s – from a desert chick from the Centre of Australia.


Dr Deb Mitchell   TMA member in Alice Springs

I am wearing close to 40kg of extra weight with all the gear for my first dive (needless to say I am not keen to reveal my baseline weight but let’s just say it’s a lot!!) and as a group we are walking from the car park at Alma Bay on Magnetic Island off the coast of Townsville, wearing full-length wetsuits, and I pretend not to notice the stares of strangers.

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Uganda – volunteer in health clinic

Kate McGowan RN

TravelBugs Adelaide

It’s a week into my four week Uganda trip and I find myself in a not-unfamiliar environment. It feels like I’ve been here before: Poverty and lack of resources in the tropics tends to send cities into a familiar decline.  It’s warm, humid and hazy, the air is heavy with wood smoke, diesel and leaded petrol fumes from the old cars that inhabit the roads.

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Solomon Islands – Student Medical Placement

Dr Jo Grey

TMA Brisbane

Earlier this year, I accepted an invitation to spend two weeks on Guadalcanal Island, part of the Solomon Islands group supervising medical students from Bond University on an elective placement.  The students were seeking a doctor to accompany them who would be happy to work alongside and supervise them in a tropical, low-resource environment. I happily accepted, having worked and travelled previously in other Pacific nations, but never visited the Solomon Islands – what a great opportunity!  What a challenge!
The placement was a student initiative, organised by Bushfire, the Bond University Rural Health Club.  This year is only the second year that this student-run initiative has taken place, following on from the successful inaugural trip in 2018.

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