ABC Guide to Travel Health - Vaccines, Vaccinations

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Although we would rather not think about getting sick while in some exotic location, it is important to remember that as many as 50% or more of travellers returning from the tropics experience health problems related to their travel.1

Usually the illness is minor; however, every year a number of Australians return from overseas with a serious illness, like malaria, typhoid, or hepatitis. Many travel-related illnesses are preventable, so people should be aware of the numerous health issues and follow recommended precautions.

This guide provides a brief summary of a range of travel-related illnesses. This list is not exhaustive and must be viewed as a guide only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, particularly from your doctor or travel health clinic. Specific travel health advice is recommended on an individual basis, taking into account the personal health of the traveller including past medical and vaccination history, intended activities, itinerary, style of travel, type of accommodation, time of year, altitude and length of stay. For further information travellers should consult their doctor or a travel health specialist about 6-8 weeks before the journey. Travellers going to work overseas on a long term basis may wish to allow a little more time.

The following sites are also a useful source of information.

SmartTraveller (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government)

National Health and Medical Research Council (Australian Immunisation Handbook-includes vaccine recommendations for travel)

World Health Organization (WHO), International Travel and Health (International recommendations for travel health)

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (US travel recommendations)


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Disclaimer: every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this website was correct and accurate at the time this website was developed. The information on this website is not intended to be advice and does not replace the advice of your healthcare professional. You should always discuss the information provided on this website with your healthcare professional.

The Travel Health Advisory Group is a Special Interest Group of The Australasian College of Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Travel Medicine.