Call Your Closest Clinic, Australia-Wide
Call Your Closest Clinic, Australia-Wide

Babies, Bali and “I Do”

Dr Julie Burke TMA Yeppoon

Destination weddings in Bali for Australians are extremely popular. Young  Aussie couples with their love of the great out doors, beach and sand can easily access the many wedding planners and resorts specializing in magical and seemingly less costly venues for tying the knot.  More often these couples already have their own little ones, have guests with young families and mums to be; and grandparents tagging along for the ride as baby sitters.  In the excitement of the weddings planning, friends and family’s travel health needs are often overlooked - especially regarding ZIKA.


Zika Virus infection, a mosquito-borne virus related to the Dengue fever virus exists on Bali Island. While the infection is usually a mild illness, congenital infection of the foetus in pregnant women lead to high rates of foetal malformations, and pregnant women in any trimester are advised to postpone nonessential travel to Bali.  Potential Dads visiting Bali with possible Zika virus exposure are advised to wait 3 months before engaging in unprotected sex; exposed or symptomatic women are advised to wait 2 months. Day time insect precautions are essential. Honeymoon couples need to know this.


The recent global measles outbreak in travellers has identified particularly Bali as a port of exposure. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation are now recommending infants as young as 6 months of age ( down from the previously recommended  9 months ) receive a Measles/Mumps/rubella vaccine ahead of travel to an endemic area or during an outbreak.  These children would still require their usual routine vaccinations at 12 and 18 months as per the National  Immunisation Programme.


While grandparents and pregnant women are usually well informed on the risk of influenza and likely to have been vaccinated, other family members and friends are less likely to be aware. Influenza risk in travellers is estimated to be high and rates of infection are highest amongst children. Influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons without contraindications aged >= 6 months.  If it is that child’s first year of influenza vaccination, they require 2 vaccinations 1 month apart.  Queensland Health, as do some other state health departments, provide free influenza vaccinations for all children from 6 months to 5 years of age The cost is usually around $15 for those children not eligible under their state immunisation programme.

Destination weddings with family and friends need to be memorable occasions for all the right reasons; these extra tips and forward planning will aid in achieving this goal.