All Posts Tagged: travel

Travel health tip - wash your hands

8 helpful travel health tips (how to stay safe overseas)

You’ve probably heard about the coronavirus by now.

Originating in China, it’s a new virus that can cause respiratory illness, including pneumonia.

There are thousands of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world, including Australia, and some people have even died (you can get the latest coronavirus updates here).

While our travel health checklist has tips to help you before you go overseas, we thought it was timely to provide advice on how to stay safe once you’ve actually arrived at your destination.

1. Keep your hands clean

Proper handwashing can protect you and others from a range of diseases.

Make sure you wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating, when handling food and after you use the toilet.

You could also carry hand sanitiser with you as a back-up, to help keep the germs at bay.

2. Avoid sick people

This might seem obvious, but keep your distance from sick people.

And, keep your immune system strong by drinking lots of water, eating a balanced diet and sleeping well.

3. Think before you eat and drink

Getting gastro overseas is common. But you can try to minimise the dreaded ‘traveller’s diarrhoea’!

While a glass of soft drink might be safe, the ice in the glass could be made with contaminated water.

High-risk foods include raw meat and seafood, salads and unpasteurised dairy products.

4. Don’t get too drunk

The alcohol content of drinks varies between countries. So, a vodka soda in Europe could be twice as strong as what you drink here.

When you’re drunk, you might drop your guard and become an easy target for petty criminals, or worse. It’s not worth the risk.

(As an aside – if you need help with a drinking problem please contact us.)

5. Avoid wild and feral animals

The coronavirus is believed to have started in an animal market in central China.

So, when you’re overseas, avoid areas such as farms, live animal markets, and areas where animals are slaughtered, including fish and seafood.

If you do come into contact with animals or animal products, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you have thoroughly cleaned your hands.

Some overseas destinations, like Bali and Thailand, are known for their street dogs and wild monkeys. Many of these animals have rabies, and if you’re bitten, it could be fatal.

Luckily, you can get immunised for rabies before you go. And remember to stay abreast with Smartraveller updates too!

6. Protect yourself from insects

Similar to wild animals, our insect friends can wreak havoc on our health if we’re not careful.

In many parts of the world, the bite of infected mosquitoes can spread infectious diseases including yellow fever, malaria and dengue fever.

Travel health tip: protect yourself by wearing mosquito repellent, and have a chat with us about vaccinations or medications you can take.

7. Protect yourself against the sun

We know how hot it can get in Australia. But the sun can also hit you in many countries overseas!

Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, and reapply when necessary. There are other ways you can protect your skin from the sun too.

8. Have safe sex

Condoms are not just for stopping pregnancy – they’re to help protect you from sexually transmissible infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS.

The rate of STIs in some countries is very high. So, if you’re sexually active, carry condoms with you.

When you return

Pay close attention to your health in the fortnight after you get back from overseas. If you’re feeling unwell you should see your doctor.

And remember, our team can assist with all your travel health requirements including vaccinations. Stay safe and happy travels!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel, Smartraveller, Department of Health

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Travel health Melbourne

Travel checklist: do these things before you go

Summer is an exciting time for Australians. Many of us enjoy time off work to relax, spend time with family and friends or even go on holidays.

If you’re lucky enough to be travelling overseas, follow these tips for a smooth and stress-free trip.

Research your destination

Read up on your destination before you arrive – there are countless travel websites and guide books available. You could also talk with family or friends who are familiar with the places you’ll be visiting. As you research, pay particular attention to local laws, entry and exit requirements, health issues and safety.

Register you details

Make sure you register your travel and contact details on Smartraveller. This can make it easier for the government to contact you in the case of an emergency. You can also subscribe to receive free email notifications when the information for your destinations changes.

Cover yourself with travel insurance

Organising travel insurance is an essential part of preparing for your overseas trip. If you’re uninsured, you’re personally liable for covering any medical or other costs resulting from unexpected incidents or accidents. Check you’re covered for any pre-existing medical conditions and any additional activities you plan to undertake, such as skiing or hiring a motorcycle.

Organise your passports and visas

All Australian citizens, including children, must have a valid passport before leaving Australia and maintain a valid passport while overseas. Find out early which visas you need by contacting the relevant embassy of the countries you intend to visit. Some destinations have specific entry and exit requirements, including compulsory vaccinations.

Get the right vaccinations

Your doctor can check the areas that you will visit, and recommend the appropriate vaccinations to keep you and your family safe. We have dedicated Travel Health GPs to help you with this. While we recommend making an appointment 6-8 weeks before your departure date, it’s never too late to come and see us.

Plan your medications

If you’re planning to take medicine overseas, you should:

  • Meet any legal requirements imposed by the foreign country
  • Take enough medicine to cover at least the planned length of your trip
  • Carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you will be taking, and stating that the medicine is for your personal use
  • Always leave the medicine in its original packaging so that it’s clearly labelled with your name and dosage instructions
  • Separate quantities between your luggage in case a bag goes missing.

Additional health tips

Be aware of the risk of hepatitis and HIV – practise safe sex and avoid ear-piercing, acupuncture, tattooing or dental work while travelling in destinations with lower health or hygiene standards.

Avoid temporary ‘black henna’ tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions.

Finally, if you wear glasses, take along a spare pair and/or a copy of the prescription so that they can be replaced more easily if lost or broken.

For more pre-holiday tips, check out Smartraveller.

Have a great time!

Being prepared for your overseas holiday is the first step to having a great time.

Remember, our Travel Health GPs can assist with all your travel health requirements including vaccinations. Safe travels!

 

Source: Smartraveller

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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