Safe travelling. A trip to Australia and South Pacific Islands

Introduction: Nowadays more and more people travel to Australia and the South Pacific Islands. These distant countries are attractive for their exoticism, different culture and unique fauna and flora. Travellers to the islands of Oceania are exposed to many risks, some not found in Europe. Therefore, thorough preparation before a trip to this distant territory is essential.
Aim: The aim of the present review is to acquaint the reader with and sensitize him to the risks found in Australia and the South Pacific Islands. The paper takes into consideration diseases, dangerous animals and recommended vaccination. Appropriate preparation for a trip can protect the traveller from a disease or a disability.
Material and methods: The review is based on the reports of the World Health Organization (WHO), books and publications by authors specializing in tropical and travel medicine as well as scientists, who did research on these issues.
Conclusions: A trip to Australia and the South Pacific Islands does not involve serious risks – health care is well developed there and tourists may rely on help from various institutions. Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that this territory is not entirely free from contagious diseases. Special attention should be paid to those transmitted by mosquitoes and protection from their bites should be a priority in the preventive health care. We should be especially careful when going to rural, uninhabited areas of poor sanitation and hygiene standards. Failure to comply with basic principles of hygiene can result in food poisonings, trachoma, hepatitis A and B, etc. We should not forget about vaccines recommended for a given country, which are listed in this article. Moreover, the territory of Australia and the South Pacific Islands has unusual fauna that a tourist may not be familiar with and thus may feel vulnerable encountering it. We should be aware of this danger, follow the local recommendations and warnings as well as became acquainted with first aid rules in case we are burnt or bitten by a snake. As far as viral diseases are concerned, apart from protection from mosquito bites, it is also essential to be diagnosed early and so any worrying symptoms should be consulted with a doctor.

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Volume 25 (1)

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Vincent Pol University in Lublin