Australia (Australasia)Advice for All Destinations Immunisations Malaria Other Health Risks Notice Board News
Advice for All Destinations
If you're planning to travel outside the UK, your travel health needs will depend on your individual situation, including:
- your destination
- how long you'll stay
- what you’ll be doing
- your general health
Ideally consult with your travel healthcare practitioner 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. If your trip is sooner, contact them anyway, they may still be able to help and its never too late to seek advice.
Many of the health problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other measures need to be taken. These include food and water safety, accident prevention, care with sun exposure, avoiding insect bites and animal bites, and practicing good respiratory hygiene.
If you will be travelling with medication (including over the counter medication) you should check for any restrictions on medications before you travel, you can do this by contacting the embassy of the country you're visiting.
A worldwide list of travel clinics, run by members of the International Society of Travel Medicine is available on their website
- Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain - including for example, seasonal flu vaccine (if indicated), MMR, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
- Courses or boosters usually advised: none.
- Other vaccines to consider: Diphtheria; Tetanus.
- Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis.
Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers aged 1 year or over arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission ( with the exception of Galapagos islands in Ecuador, the island of Tobago and limited to Misiones province in Argentina) and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission (with the same exceptions as mentioned above).
Notes on the diseases mentioned above
- Diphtheria:  spread person to person through respiratory droplets. Risk is higher if mixing with locals in poor, overcrowded living conditions.
spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route.
Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation is poor.
Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who inject drugs.
spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse.
Risk is higher for long stays, frequent travel and for children (exposed through cuts and scratches), those who may require medical treatment during travel.
Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who change partners frequently; people who inject drugs.
- Japanese Encephalitis:  spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito breeds in rice paddies and mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Risk is highest for long stay travellers to rural areas, particularly if unable to avoid mosquito bites.
- Tetanus:  spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
- Malaria not normally present unless the illness was contracted abroad.
Other Health Risks
Altitude and TravelThis country has either areas with high altitude (2400m or more) or/and areas with very high altitude (3658m or more). Travellers who may go into areas of high altitude should take care to avoid ill effects of being at altitude including Acute Mountain Sickness, a potentially life-threatening condition. For further information see Altitude and Travel.
Dengue FeverA viral illness that is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, severe joint, bone and muscular pain - hence its other name 'breakbone fever'. There is no vaccine and prevention is through avoidance of mosquito bites. For further information see Dengue Fever.
- Pertussis (whooping cough) in Australia - Health Protection Scotland has received enquiries regarding travellers to Australia and the possible need for pertussis vaccine. There have been large outbreaks of pertussis in Australia over the last 3-5 years. Travellers have become concerned either because of risk of contracting pertussis themselves or because, if infected, they may put very young children who are too young to be vaccinated at risk (e.g. grandparents visiting new grandchildren).
- Adult boosters of pertussis vaccine are not recommended for the UK. In the UK, a programme was introduced to vaccinate all pregnant women against pertussis; evidence shows that this is the best way to protect very young infants. There is a combined vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio) licensed for adults in the UK.
- Travellers wishing to be immunised against pertussis (for example grandparents travelling to visit new grandchildren) may wish to arrange having the vaccine at a private clinic or at their destination.