Posts Tagged ‘Thailand’

Philippines and Thailand – Leptospirosis Risk


The Philippines is regularly battered by tropical cyclones that bring flooding to large portions of the country from late May to early December. Leptospirosis is a disease associated with freshwater flooding and is an infection commonly transmitted to humans from water that has been contaminated by animal urine (usually rats), and comes in contact with lesions on the skin, eyes, or with the mucous membranes.

From January to 24 Sep this year, there have been at least 2061 recorded cases of leptospirosis with 156 casualties in the Philippines whilst in Thailand at the moment as flood waters continue to menace Bangkok and its surrounds, as well as the hundreds of cases of acute diarrhoea that are being reported each day, there have been 2 deaths from leptospirosis.

The signs and symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, chills, and intense headache. These appear within 4 to 14 days after exposure to contaminated flood waters or even mud. These may be accompanied by red eyes, jaundice, tea-coloured urine, and difficulty in urinating. In extreme cases, complications like meningitis, renal failure, and respiratory distress may arise and lead to death.

Advice to travellers: Minimise exposure to floodwaters where possible and wear protective gears such as boots and long pants in wading through flooded areas to reduce the risk of infection as the bacteria usually find their way through abraded skin or open wounds. Antibiotics may be recommended as prevention for those at high risk of exposure; or as treatment for those experiencing early symptoms.

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A Dental Experience In Thailand


Surrey Hills Senior Clinic Receptionist

I decided to research dental treatment in Thailand after being quoted on a (costly) treatment plan by my Australian dentist.

A colleague who had previously had dental treatment in Thailand, and my brother-in-law who lives part of the year there, encouraged me and reassured me that the high end Thai dental clinics were safe and offered a full range of dental services.

I contacted the clinic recommended to me, firstly by email and promptly received a reply from the dentist assigned to me, requesting the medical and dental history and x-rays etc. that she required to plan and quote.

Meanwhile, I sought travel medicine advice, with particular regard to ensuring I was up to date with Hep A and B immunisations. I also took a course of antibiotics with me to take at the first sign of any infection (which fortunately wasn’t necessary).

The dentist continued email contact with me, with an excellent command of English and reassuring manner. Closer to the time she phoned me a few times confirming how best to book my trip around treatment. It was to start in Bangkok the day I arrived in Thailand, then I would travel to Phuket for a beach holiday and the work would be completed there, including removing the temporary crowns applied in Bangkok, and replacing them with my new ones. Finally Zoom whitening of my remaining teeth was to be done. An unexpected complication was, upon examining me the dentist was unhappy with the integrity of pre-existing root canal treatment of a tooth done in Australia. She arranged a car to take me to an endodontic specialist in Patong that day. I felt momentarily anxious because I hadn’t researched this new place. Anyway, I proceeded and the tooth was retreated to ensure I didn’t encounter trouble beneath the new crown in coming years. Fortunately, the professionalism, equipment and clinical environment at the endodontic clinic also appeared faultless.

In the end I returned to Australia with a complete dental makeover, completed in 2 weeks costing between 30 and 50% of what I would have paid at home. The group of clinics have a very informative website, but didn’t mention, and which I discovered to my delight, that most of the treatment was done in an elevated room with panoramic views over a beautiful beach, and any discomfort I may have experienced was counted by the attentive dental assistants massaging my feet and hands. Perhaps it’s unremarkable there, but what a treat for us Aussies.

I was farewelled with a mouthguard to use at night and a Zoom maintenance treatment to use after 12 months. I had an issue with a tooth a year later and emailed the dentist for advice. By the end of the day she had replied, advising it was not a tooth treated in Thailand, but she gave good and detailed advice and emailed me a week later to ensure that I had seen a dentist here.

Cheaper treatment is available but may come with an increased risk. My overall experience was very positive and extremely cost effective.


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A Fun And Festive Thai Shopping Adventure

GoldCoast TMA Member

Frontline at Travel Health Doctors, Southport, Senior Receptionist Ilana Capan, recently embarked on a 7 day girls shopping, relaxing and more shopping trip to Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand.

Travelling with her sister and friend, Ilana was keen to soak up some culture and also visit Maya Island – backdrop to movie, The Beach, starring Leonardo Di Caprio.

Her first trip to Thailand, Ilana stepped off the plane in Phuket and immersed herself in the hive of activity which is synonymous with the tourist hotspot.

Struck by the friendliness of the Thai people Ilana and the girls laughed as each Thai greeted them with a welcoming “Oh I remember you!!”

Being a short trip, the girls were keen to hunt out some bargains. They didn’t have to look far. Patong is a tapestry of multi dimensional modes of shopping including high end shopping malls and boutiques, selling the highest quality Thai silks, furniture etc. However the hub remains the Beach Road Markets – a vibrant and eclectic mix of local stalls stretching along the entire beachfront and through the numerous lanes and alleyways cris-crossing the area. The area particularly comes alive at night where the sense of chaos and festive atmosphere is pumping. Enthralled by the range and choice, Ilana said many of the items are counterfeit ranging from fake Cartia watches through to Jimmy Choo shoes and Samsonite luggage.


“It’s a unique shopping experience as you walk up to a small roadside stall front and then the owners persuade you to walk behind this into air conditioned rooms stocked floor to ceiling with merchandise…quite a surprise” she said.

Despite the revenue generated for the local Thais from these stores, officially, selling counterfeit items is against the law in the area and at any time the police and/or military can move in, shut the stores and fine the owners.

A storeowner with heart

This situation was witnessed by Ilana and the girls. After happily purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of Samsonite bags, their storeowner offered to mind them while the girls went for a bite to eat. By the time they returned, it was raining solidly and the entire lanes and roadways of stalls were completely shut up as the police had arrived. Thinking there was no hope of finding the Thai storeowner again, frustrated; the girls gave up their search and left for their hotel. On their way back however they were incredulous to see their Thai storeowner by the side of the road, standing on his own in the downpour, with the Samonsite bags beside him. He was so happy to see them… and they him!

Maya Bay

With shopping behind her and despite stormy weather, Ilana was keen to see Maya Bay. With the large boats taking three hours to take tourists to the island, Ilana instead found a man with a smaller boat willing to take ten passengers. Half an hour into the trip though lost in the sea’s crashing waves, all ten on board were seriously sea sick and there was no choice but to turn the boat back to shore. Maya Bay will have to wait till Ilana’s next trip. “I can see why people take the slow boats – the sea is so choppy – don’t risk a dinghy!” she said.

After elephant trekking, the girls concluded their trip with a night out at Fanta Sea – an entertainment experience which included a performance similar to Circ De Solae. It left a lasting impression from their trip as it reflected the simplicity and beauty which is so intrinsically central to the fabric of Thai culture.
In Thailand they sell gasoline on the street everywhere and a tuk tuk has no seat belts!

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