Archive for the ‘Vaccine’ Category

Exploring the Nile Valley


By Dr Jo Grey, Launceston Medical Centre

Egypt, with its long history of successive waves of invasion, occupation and religious upheaval has held a lifelong fascination for me. So when offered the opportunity to spend three weeks exploring the Nile Valley with its myriad tombs and temples, I jumped at the chance. Travelling as accompanying doctor on a custom designed exploration of the Nile Valley, I visited all the sites I had read about since childhood (and many I hadn’t heard about).

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Hadrians Wall Path


By Carmel Limpus, Registered Nurse, Ipswich TMA

Finally after two years of being confined to Australia, I’m off to the UK to get my hiking on! It’s very freeing to the spirit when boarding the plane on the outbound journey (although no one looks forward to the 24 hrs of sitting), all the potential adventures to be had. My adult children come along for the ride and to be my Uber service should I need it. Where to this time? Destination – Hadrians Wall Path in the North of England.

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The Re-emergence of Tropical Diseases

hereA bicycle leaning against a colourful wall on the Camino trail

by Dr David Rutherford

After my own return to overseas travel after an enforced three year gap, it reignited my passion for travel once again and gave me a chance to reflect on what I have learned from seeing others prepare for their trips.

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A Tropical Escape to Bali


In October 2022 we decided to go for a tropical escape.  It felt like it has been forever since I had a travel consult and surely it had been an eternity since I had travelled overseas. (Ok that really is a first world problem guilty as charged).  

So, at short notice and with little prior planning we decided to book a trip to Bali. The party consisted of two adults (both Doctors), a 12 year old and a 6 month old infant. The plan was to just stay at a 5-star resort only eat at the resort. 

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Are you contemplating a trip to Nepal?


Namaste! Are you contemplating a trip to Nepal?

I travelled there recently with my husband and 2 teen daughters (in December), to trek up to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC), and we have fallen in love with the place! Having previously enjoyed family multi-day hiking trips in New Zealand and Tasmania, we decided trekking in Nepal would foster some interesting new challenges and cultural aspects for our next adventure.

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All about Japanese Encephalitis


Dr Chris Rook Adelaide Member TMA
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a viral disease that can damage the brain and is transmitted by mosquitoes. It is the most common vaccine-preventable cause of epidemic encephalitis world-wide with most cases occurring in Asia. It was first identified in 1935 and it is estimated there are more than 30- 50,000 cases and 10,000 deaths annually. It has recently been reported in Australia  Read on for more information

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Japanese Encephalitis

Dr Tu Khai Huynh – TMA Member Ipswich

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) occurs in practically all Asian countries and is also now considered endemic in the Torres Strait region and Papua New Guinea. The incidence of JE in humans varies by season, usually coinciding with the rains and is mainly passed through the bite of the Culex mosquito.

Country Peak transmission

Korea, Japan May to September
Temperate South East Asia (Thailand,Vietnam, Cambodia) April to October
Nepal, Northern India September to December
Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines and tropical regions of South East Asia All year round
Humans are infected by the virus (JEV) when living in close proximity its natural hosts (pigs and wading birds). This usually occurs in rural areas where there is breeding of the vectors in flooded rice fields. Nearly 3 billion people are believed to be at risk for JE virus infection and approximately 20,000 clinical cases with 6,000 deaths are reported annually.

Infection is characterized by sudden onset of fever, chills, muscle aches, and confusion. It is recognised, however, that most infections are asymptomatic; published estimates of the symptomatic to asymptomatic infection ratio vary in different populations from 1:25 to 1:1000.. The case fatality rate ranges from 5-30% but approximately 30-50 % of the surviving patients have permanent brain damage and complete recovery occurs in only one-third of patients.

 Culex mosquito – Females bite usually during the day time but peak at dawn and at dusk. All travellers to Asia (and other tropical regions) must be fully aware of the need to take appropriate measures to avoid mosquito bites, such as effective insect repellent and appropriate clothing.
Risk for travellers

The risk to short term travellers to Asia is very low, particularly if they are only visiting urban areas, with overall estimates of one case per million travellers. The risk becomes greater for persons who intend to live or travel in risk areas for long periods of time, and have rural trips during transmission seasons. Certain activities may increase the risk such as fieldwork, camping, or cycling in rural areas. The risk amongst rural travellers has been estimated to be in the range of 1 case per 5,000 travellers to 1 per 20,000 per week.


There is no specific treatment, but rather supportive management.


Apart from personal protective measures to avoid being bitten, vaccination of humans is the most effective means of preventing JE. Two different vaccines are available for use in Australia – these would be discussed with your doctor.

JE vaccination is recommended for:

  1. Travellers (≥12 months of age) spending 1 month or more in rural areas of high-risk countries in Asia and Papua New Guinea (see 4.8.3 Epidemiology above); however, should be considered for shorter-term travellers, particularly if the travel is during the wet season, or anticipated to be repeated, and/or there is considerable outdoor activity, and/or the accommodation is not mosquito-proof.
  2. All other travellers spending a year or more in Asia (except Singapore), even if much of the stay is in urban areas.

Please consult your travel doctor for timely advice about Japanese encephalitis if you are going to Asia or PNG, especially those times listed above, and especially if your travel will involve a lot of rural activity.

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Travel Health Information

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