Throughout 2012, VIVA! worked extensively with CSL on travel health, and it’s been a particularly enjoyable and successful experience. As we’re now approaching the holiday season, we’re taking stock of all we’ve learned regarding travel health and wish to share this information with our blog readers.

For so many of us, the holiday season is not only about family and friends, it’s also an opportune time for international travel.

Ever had the feeling you’ve forgotten something just as you’re stepping on a plane? Well, with three-in-five Australians failing to seek pre-travel health advice before international travel, you could be one of the many Australians forgetting the importance of protecting against travel-related infectious diseases while overseas this holiday season.

To encourage healthy travel and dispel some of the myths about travel health protection, VIVA! orchestrated a national media campaign on the topic, and to cap off the year we recently secured a cover story in the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Australian Pharmacist.

In the article, travel doctor and Medical Director of Dr Deb – The Travel Doctor, Brisbane, Dr Deb Mills reminds us that anyone is at potential risk of travel-related infectious diseases while overseas.

“It’s a myth that travelling five-star protects you from developing travel-related illnesses,” said Dr Mills.

“You walk through the same streets as other travellers, where there may be potentially rabid dogs. Mosquitoes may fly into resorts.

“You may choose to dine at a classy hotel, but people sometimes get sick from hotel food,” Dr Mills said.

According to public health physician and Medical Director of the Travel Doctor – TMVC, Sydney, Dr Conrad Moreira, while many people are travelling to relatively safe destinations such as Europe and the US, an increasing number of people are travelling to higher risk destinations such as South America, where they may need vaccinations such as hepatitis and typhoid.

“Australians are travelling in record numbers, making almost eight million short-term overseas trips a year, with Indonesia the country’s second most popular travel destination,” said Dr Moreira.

However, a ticket to Indonesia carries the risk of a mild infection with travellers’ diarrhoea or “Bali Belly”, through to serious infectious diseases, such as rabies, hepatitis A and malaria.”

To read the full article, download the story from PSA’s Australian Pharmacist web page.

Team VIVA! wishes you safe and happy travelling this holiday season!