Chopsticks Lanterns and the Great Wall

Dr Lisa Chapman, Stafford

Dragons, firecrackers, red lanterns, awe-inspiring ancient structures, impressive modern architecture, advanced technology, bamboo scaffolding, tradition, friendly locals, orphanages, multitudes of silent electric scooters, loud market place haggling, cups of tea, fiery chilli and bottomless bowls of rice. Eclectic images greeted my family as we journeyed in China for a month.

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Travelling to Russia, Belarus and Baltic States

Prepared by TMA member Sandringham, Victoria: Dr Jason Rajakulendran.

Exploring Russia, the largest country on earth and its neighbouring former Soviet states was something that had entered my mind a long time ago. Russia is a remarkable place whose famously repressed history has moulded a culture known for its pride and stoicism. I wanted to experience this culture, that is so vastly spread by distance, and to see how it had changed after trading with the west since the end of the cold war. The political situation in neighbouring Ukraine was barely an issue this time last year. This exemplifies how rapid political changes can occur and affect local security issues in foreign countries, and serves as a reminder that  travellers need to remain aware and well informed when travelling.

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Fear of Flying

20-25% of persons suffer from this,  and it can have a serious impact on  the  life choices of a sufferer, and even their family. It is a learned response to aircraft and it can be  ‘unlearned’ with the right help. The Wikipedia entry on fear of flying calls it  Pteromerhanophobia, …  a fear of being on an airplane (aeroplane), or other flying vehicle..  It is also sometimes referred to as aerophobiaaviatophobia, or aviophobia. Fear of air travel is a recognised “phobia” but it is rarely just a fear of travelling on a plane. The flying phobia is usually based in a more basic fear such as fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia) or fear of not being able to escape from a situation (agoraphobia) or even a fear of heights.

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Marshall Islands

In December 2013, 19 Doctors attended the inaugural Pacific Critical Care Conference in the Marshall Islands. Director of Capstone Health Dr Matthew Atkins and employee Dr Stephen Massey from were fortunate enough to be among the participants.

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Travel to India

Towards the end of my second semester of university at the University of Queensland, I expressed to a friend the desire to “one day” do voluntary work somewhere/anywhere overseas.  To which her reply was “Well, I’ve actually just started helping Lattitude do interviews for a volunteer placement starting next February. I can send you a link on Facebook, if you want.”

Fast forward three months, and I was deferred from University and on a plane to New Delhi, nervous and excited for the upcoming months.  As part of Young People without Borders, a new initiative for the Foundation of Young Australians, I was off to teach at a school for underprivileged in Dehradun, a city at the base of the Himalayas.

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Israel Holiday

‘Boker Tov’, good morning!

Our tour of Israel lasted for twelve days, and every day was packed with visits to historical sites; many recorded in the Bible. It was thrilling to stand in historical places which are so well documented, and to see many towns and cities thriving due to the influx of immigrants seeking a better life style.  As an example, over one million Russian Jews have settled in Israel since the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was disbanded in 1991 under President Michael Gorbachev’s time in office. The present day population of Israel is close to 8,002,300 people.

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Meningococcal B vaccine


Dr Julie Burke – Yeppoon

BEXSERO , the first broadly effective Meningococcal B vaccine is indicated for immunisation of infants (from 2 months of age), toddlers, children, adolescents and adults against Meningococcal serogroup B (MenB) disease.  It’s  availability to travellers will be particularly useful for infants and exchange students, students studying overseas especially in  residential colleges, people without a functioning spleen, or those with other conditions that impair their immunity.

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Are you involved in sending staff overseas for work?

Travelling Staff – Employer Occupational Health and Safety Responsibilities

A poll at a recent webinar of over 100 members of the Chamber of Commerce revealed most business did not have a current Travel Health policy. Very few systems were in place to protect either the travelling staff, or those who are sending them overseas. This is scary.

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Q Fever “Gangnam Style” Toowoomba

Our Toowoomba members’ clinic has been very busy all year with Korean backpackers seeking Q Fever Vaccine prior to working at the local meat works.

This initially presented a few problems with language barriers but we have  had the Q  Fever pre vaccination questionnaire translated into a Korean format (many thanks to Jon Barrell TMA member in Daylesford Vic) .

Other News from the Toowoomba Clinic

Our Wilsonton practice has just completed a much needed makeover with new carpets and a complete repaint, which has drawn wonderful compliments from both staff and patients alike.

We have two new doctors Dr Richie Jaggi and Dr Emma Gradner-Smith also doing weekly sessions which has improved our ability to provide extra appointments.

Our nursing staff pool has also expanded and we have now have four dedicated travel medicine nurses, Natalie Webb, Rebecca Eaton , Belinda Rowney  at  the Wilsonton Medical Centre  and Emma Kropp.

New TMA  Member  at  Brookwater/Springfield

My Life Medical Group opened a new state of the art General Practice within the Mater Health Centre  at the entrance to Brookwater Golf Club earlier this year.This a rapid growth area of South East Queensland and a new direct rail line opens there very shortly.  Dr Cormac Carey is providing travel medicine  consultations  at the clinic and appointments can be made on 3199 3299.


Happy Q Fever Patient

Happy Q Fever Patient

Brookwater Clinic

Brookwater Clinic

St Andrews Hospital Practice

St Andrews Hospital Practice



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dengue fever outbreak in USA

Prepared by TMA member Toowoomba/Brookwater

For  most travellers to the USA the risk of dengue fever would low on the list of health issues,  however the following report of a dengue fever outbreak adds a sobering reminder to practice  mosquito avoidance measures even in first world countries.

According to the Texas Department of Health, 6 laboratory-confirmed, locally acquired cases of dengue fever, the first locally acquired cases since 2005, have been reported in Cameron County in southern Texas State since early November 2013. Additionally, 23 laboratory-confirmed, locally acquired cases have been reported in Martin, St. Lucie, and Miami-Dade counties in Florida State since August 2013. Sporadic cases without sustained transmission are reported in central and southern Florida State each year. Travellers are advised to practice daytime insect precautions.

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Travel Health Information

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