Travel Medicine

It’s important to immune yourself by making sure you are vaccinated against diseases that you may encounter when travelling overseas.

Visit one of our doctors at least 6 weeks before you leave Australia. 

Yellow Fever Vaccine

Deer Park Medical Centre is an approved Yellow Fever Vaccination Clinic.

We provide you with a vaccination certificate in the form which is approved and required by World Health Organization. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine will provide life-long protection against the disease for most people.

What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Yellow fever can lead to serious illness and even death. It is called ‘yellow fever’ because in serious cases, the skin turns yellow in colour. This is known as ‘jaundice’. Yellow fever is a Listed Human Disease under Australia’s Biosecurity (Listed Human Diseases) Determination 2016.

What are the symptoms of yellow fever?

Symptoms of yellow fever may take 3 to 6 days to appear. Some infections can be mild but most lead to serious illness characterised by two stages. In the first stage fever, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, headache and weakness occur. About 15 to 25 per cent of those with yellow fever progress to the second stage also known as the ‘toxic’ stage, of which half die within 10 to 14 days after onset of illness. Visible bleeding, jaundice, kidney and liver failure can occur during the second stage.

What is the occurrence of yellow fever worldwide?

The World Health Organization (WHO) closely monitors reports of yellow fever infection. Yellow fever is considered to be endemic in 29 African and 13 Central and South American countries.

Yellow fever is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry the virus from person to person.

How is yellow fever treated?

There is No specific treatment for yellow fever, however medicines can be used to relieve the symptoms and may improve the outcome for seriously ill patients.

Australia's list of yellow fever risk countries and areas

Australia’s list of yellow fever risk countries and areas is guided by the WHO list of yellow fever endemic countries and also takes into account recent international surveillance data.

      

  • Africa
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the
  • Congo, Republic of the
  • Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana

 

  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • South America & Central America
  • Argentina – Misiones Province
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador excluding Galapagos Islands
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad
  • Venezuela

*Accurate as of 15/11/2018

How can travellers protect against yellow fever?

1- By getting vaccinated

Yellow fever is preventable. The vaccine is generally safe and almost 100 percent effective with few exceptions, vaccination is recommended for all travellers to countries or areas where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.

2- By avoiding mosquitoes

The mosquitoes that transmit yellow fever are usually active during the day. All people who travel to or live in yellow fever endemic countries are advised to avoid mosquitoes. This can be done by taking the following measures:

  • Wear a mosquito repellent containing DEET or picaridin
  • Wear light coloured, long-sleeved clothes when you’re outdoors
  • Avoid wearing perfume or cologne (some of these can attract mosquitoes)
  • Prevent mosquitoes entering your accommodation
  • Use a mosquito net at night-time (if mosquitoes are likely to be present)

Do I need a yellow fever vaccination?

It is strongly recommended that all travellers be vaccinated for yellow fever if travelling to or from a yellow fever risk country. 

People who are one year of age or older will be asked to provide an international vaccination certificate if, within six days before arriving in Australia, they have stayed overnight or longer in a yellow fever risk country. 

Is there any cost involved? 

We provide Yellow Fever Vaccine on the same day of your consultation for a cost of only $120.

With this you will also get a stamped Yellow Fever Certificate as a proof of immunization as required by Immigration when travelling to/from Yellow Fever risk areas.

Shingles Vaccine

 

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is also responsible for chickenpox. It occurs because of a reactivation of the chickenpox virus, which remains in the nerve cells of the body after an attack of chickenpox.

People who get chickenpox are at risk of developing shingles later in life, since the virus lies dormant in the body. Fortunately, it is rare to have more than one attack of shingles.

Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles. However, people who have never had chickenpox can catch the virus from another person with shingles. A person who has never had chickenpox, but comes into contact with a case of shingles, would develop chickenpox (not shingles).

Symptoms of Shingles

Shingles is a skin rash characterized by pain and blistering which usually appears on one side of the face or body. Tender, painful skin, tiredness, headache and photophobia may occur 2 to 3 days before the skin turns red and breaks out in tiny fluid-filled blisters.

Shingles can affect any part of the body, including the face. Classically, the rash caused by shingles often takes the shape of a belt from the mid line on one side of  the body. The rash forms its characteristic pattern because the virus works down the nerves that branch out from the spinal cord. The chest and lumbar region are most commonly affected.

The rash usually lasts about 10 to 15 days. During that time, a scaly crust might appear. Once the attack is over, the skin usually returns to normal, but there can be some scarring or a secondary bacterial infection in severe cases.

Shingles Vaccination

The National Immunization Program (Government Funded vaccines) provides a free shingles vaccine at 70 years of age . There is also a free catch-up program for 71 to 79 year olds until the end of 2021. The shingles vaccine is available on prescription for people aged 50 to 69 years and from 80 years. Vaccination is still recommended for people who have had shingles infection in the past. It is recommended to wait at least a year after recovery.

Treatment for shingles

Anti-viral medications can help ease the pain and shorten an attack of shingles. The medication works best if administered within three days, and ideally within 24 hours, of the onset of a rash. If you think you have shingles, seek an appointment with one of our doctors.

 

Influenza Vaccine

 

Annually in April and early May we provide our eligible patients with the influenza vaccine,

If you wish to attend our clinic for this vaccination, we ask that you come any time Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 9pm. If you are attending ONLY for the vaccination, no appointment is required. Just let the reception staff know your reason for coming, and we will try to ensure you see the doctor quickly.

What is influenza?

Influenza — usually shortened to ‘flu’ — is a viral infection of your nose, throat and sometimes your lungs. Special care is needed if children, the elderly or those with other health problems have flu, as influenza can cause severe illness in these populations.
The flu is usually not dangerous for a healthy person, but from time to time, new strains emerge that can cause serious illness and death even in healthy people.
While a lot of illnesses with cough, runny nose, fever and headaches are called ‘flu’, influenza is a specific illness caused by influenza virus. Most illnesses that are termed ‘flu’ in everyday language are NOT influenza.

Influenza vaccines

Being vaccinated against influenza is recommended for people who want to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza.
You should get advice from your doctor about whether influenza vaccination is recommended for young children. If you are at high risk of getting influenza, more likely to have complications or are in an essential service (such as police and hospital workers) your doctor may strongly recommend you have an influenza vaccination.

Influenza vaccination is provided free for anyone over 65, those who have long-term health problems and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people over 50. The influenza vaccine will improve your chances of not getting the flu, but does not give 100 per cent protection.
New vaccines are made each year, depending on the type of virus that is around. They are generally released for use at about the beginning of March, and to maintain protection, you should be vaccinated every autumn. Influenza vaccines should not be given to babies under 6 months, people who have extremely severe allergies to hen’s eggs, or who have had bad reactions to a flu vaccine before. Pregnant women should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of vaccines with their doctor.

What does influenza feel like?

Generally influenza in adults is characterized by the sudden onset of chills, fever, headache, weakness, cough, and generalized aches and pains. You may also experience runny nose, sneezing and sore throat.
Occasionally, the infection spreads to the lungs, causing bronchitis or pneumonia. This is more likely among the elderly, heavy smokers, people in poor health and people with asthma or other chest complaints. Children may complain of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and appear generally unwell.
The illness typically lasts up to a week, but fatigue and cough may persist for longer.

Meningococcal Vaccines

 

What is Meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is an infection caused by a type of bacterium known as the meningococcus bacterium, or Neisseria meningitides.
There are 2 main forms of invasive meningococcal disease: meningitis, where the infection involves the covering of the brain and spinal cord; and meningococcal septicaemia, where the bacteria invade the bloodstream causing blood poisoning.

Symptoms and signs

Anyone can develop meningococcal disease, though it is more common in the under-fives and adolescents/young adults.
People with meningococcal disease are usually very unwell. Symptoms and signs may include:
high fever;severe headache; lethargy, drowsiness, irritability or confusion;
dislike of bright lights (photophobia);vomiting; stiffness and pain in the neck or other joints or muscles; and a rash, which may start as very small red or purple spots then enlarge to look like bruises.
In young babies the signs may differ from those in older children and adults, and may include:
fever;drowsiness;floppiness;irritability;dislike of being handled;a high-pitched moaning cry;disinterest in or refusing to feed;vomiting; a rash of red-purple spots or bruises; and
pale, blotchy skin.

 

Preventing Meningococcal disease

There are 13 different strains of Meningococcal bacteria of which there are six main strains that mostly cause disease (A,B,C,W,X and Y) 

Currently in Australia, strains B, W, and Y cause the majority of cases. Vaccines are available for B and ACWY.

Since July 2018, vaccination against group ACWY Meningococcal has been part of the Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule for all children aged 12 months. Prior to July 2018, this was for Meningococcal C only.

Unfortunately, there is no catch up schedule for the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine under the Australian Standard Vaccination schedule, which means that if your child is over the age of 12 months you will have to purchase them privately with a script from your doctor.

The Meningococcal B vaccine is currently only available by private script.

 

For more information about the Meningococcal disease and its potential impact with real life experiences, please check the https://www.knowmeningococcal.com.au/ website.

 

Pneumococcal disease vaccination

Pneumococcal disease is caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae (also
known as pneumococcus). This germ exists in several strains and causes serious infections, including pneumonia, ear infections and meningitis (infection of the membrane surrounding the brain). Pneumococcal disease is believed to result in more than 1.5 million deaths worldwide each year, especially affecting young children in developing countries. There is a very high incidence of pneumococcal disease among indigenous Australians.

Pneumococcal Vaccines

Two types of pneumococcal vaccine are available in Australia.
The 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine (e.g. Pneumovax 23) protects against 23 strains of the bacterium and is indicated for use in adults over 65 years, Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders over 50 years, and older children, among other groups.  —

Ask your doctor whether you need this booster dose.

Some people are considered to be at higher than normal risk of getting pneumococcal disease — for example, those over 65 or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders over 50 — may be eligible to receive the vaccine under the government's immunisation programme. 
A newer vaccine, available since July 2011, Prevenar 13, protects against 13 serotypes of pneumococcus, particularly those strains that cause the majority of serious disease in young children. This vaccine is indicated for use in babies and children from 6 weeks of age up to 5 years of age and also adults 50 and over.

A course of 3 injections is usually given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. These injections are government funded as part of the National Immunization Program. After this, no further doses are usually required. 



Address: T97 Brimbank Shopping Centre (next to Woolworth and Direct Chemist Outlet)
28-72 Neale Road, Deer Park, VIC 3023