Travel Medicine Advice

Australians travelling overseas, especially to developing countries, need to be vaccinated against a range of diseases. Illnesses may be caused by contaminated food or water, poor hygiene or infected insects. To help ensure you’re protected against these potential health issues when traveling abroad, here we’ll offer some travel medicine advice for you to consider.

Things to remember while planning a trip overseas from Lilydale:

  • Ask your doctor if you need to be vaccinated
  • Make an appointment to discuss your travel plans several week before you leave
  • Most illness can be prevented by vaccinations and a little caution.
  • Vaccination for specific diseases.

Hepatitis A

  • This is the most common vaccine-preventable disease in travelers.
  • It is spread by contaminated food or water.
  • Symptoms include fever, lack of energy and jaundice.
  • Vaccination is safe and extremely effective.

Hepatitis B

  • This is spread by body fluid
  • Symptoms include fever, lack of energy (malaise) and jaundice (yellow skin colour).
  • Around half of all cases worldwide result in death.
  • Vaccination is safe and extremely effective.

Typhoid

  • This is common in developing countries.
  • Symptoms include fever, weakness, headache and sometimes a rash.
  • Vaccinations must be completed at least one week before travelling.

Rabies

  • This is common to North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
  • The cause is a virus passed on by a bite or scratch from an infected dog or any mammal that carries the virus.
  • Symptoms include headache and fever, then convulsions and death.
  • A three-dose vaccination is given over 3–4 weeks prior to travel.
  • All animal bites and scratches should be immediately and thoroughly washed with soap and water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Treatment after a bite from a possibly rabid animal involves a course of five vaccines and, if previously unvaccinated, an injection of immunoglobulin.

Meningococcal Meningitis

  • This is common in Africa.
  • The cause is a virus spread by aerosol droplets.
  • Symptoms include headache, fever, confusion and neurological damage.
  • Vaccination is a legal requirement for some countries.

Japanese Encephalitis

  • Common to China, Korea, the Indian subcontinent and South East Asia.
  • The cause is a virus spread by infected mosquitoes.
  • Symptoms include headache, fever, confusion and neurological damage.
  • Treatment can only ease the symptoms.
  • Three doses of vaccine are required well before you travel.

Yellow Fever

  • This is present in tropical South America and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The cause is a virus spread by infected mosquitoes.
  • Symptoms include fever, headache, bloody vomiting, jaundice and death.
  • The vaccination gives immunity for around 10 years.
  • Vaccination is a legal requirement for some countries and certification can only be given by an authorised travel health clinic.

Staying Protected from Contaminated Consumables or Infections

Ways to protect yourself from illness caused by contaminated food and water, or from mosquito or animal bites:

  • Don’t drink tap water (or have ice in drinks)
  • Don’t buy food from vendors on the street
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Wear insect repellent
  • Stay away from animals

Iron Infusions

Why is Iron important?
Our bodies need iron. Iron is used to make haemoglobin – the part of our red blood cells that carries oxygen around our body. It is also important for muscle strength, energy and good mental function. If your iron levels are low this may make you feel tired and not able to do normal daily activities. As the amount of iron in the body falls even lower, the haemoglobin level drops below normal. This is known as iron deficiency anaemia.

Why might I need an Iron Infusion?
The most common way to treat iron deficiency is to take iron by mouth as a tablet or liquid. This works well for most people and is usually tried first. Some people may need iron to be given straight into the body through a vein. This is called an Intravenous (IV) iron infusion. Sometimes 2 iron infusions (given at least 1 week apart) are needed to fully top up iron stores. The infusion is made up of iron, not blood. IV iron might be needed if you:

  • Are not able to take iron tablets / liquid
  • Are not responding to iron tablets / liquid or not absorbing them
  • Need to get your iron levels up quickly (eg. before major surgery, late in pregnancy or to avoid blood transfusion)
  • If you have chronic kidney disease or chronic heart failure Your doctor should explain why you need IV iron and the other options

How do I make an appointment for an Iron Infusion?
You will first need to make a standard consultation appointment with your GP to discuss your current health, medical history, review of medications and any prior treatment if any.  You will also need to have a blood test to determine your current iron levels and your GP will then discuss the next steps. If an Iron Infusion will be beneficial to you, and treatment is deemed appropriate by your GP, an appointment will be scheduled.

Ref: www2.health.vic.gov.au

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24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring

The purpose of our 24-hour blood pressure monitoring is to keep a close watch on your blood pressure as you go about your daily activities.
We achieve this through the help of a small digital blood pressure machine that is connected to a belt around your body, which is attached to a cuff around the upper part of your arm.
The need to monitor your blood pressure is to check for hypertension, and to also have an idea of what your blood pressure is like throughout the night and day.
We may require a patient to be placed under 24-hour blood pressure monitoring for the following reasons;

  • To know if your blood pressure stays high at night. If we discover that it is high at night, then we may have to change, adjust, or review your medication.
  • To monitor how well your medicines are working and to ascertain if your blood pressure is well controlled both during the day and at night.
  • To know if your blood pressure readings in the clinic differ from what they are at home or away from the clinic.

These are some of the reasons why we may want to put our patients under 24-hour blood pressure monitoring.
For patients with high BP; if you would like to have good control and monitoring of your blood pressure, our practice is the right place to be. We do not take the well-being of our patients lightly, as we understand that medical issues relating to blood pressure, should be well managed and monitored.

How does our 24-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring work?

Our 24-hour blood pressure monitoring works in the same way as going to the clinic to have your BP checked, although for the monitoring, a digital device that measures your blood pressure throughout the day is worn on your belt or waist, while the cuff is connected to your upper arm. This digital device takes your blood pressure reading at regular intervals throughout the day; normally every 30 minutes during the day and 60 minutes at night.

How do I prepare for 24-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring?

This is a question that most of our patients ask; the answer here is that you do not need to do anything to prepare for your 24-hour blood pressure monitoring. However, it is good to wear loose-fitting clothing to your appointment, so that we can fit the blood pressure monitor properly.

We recommend that our patients should go about their regular daily routine the period of 24hr monitoring.
After the 24 hours, we will remove the device and then access the readings to analyze what it implies and make necessary recommendations to our patients. You can always count on our expertise to deliver the best medical services to our clients, at all times.

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New View Psychology

Andrea Bellia has a long academic life and holds five master degrees from three different countries. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, working on psychology and metaphysics in the French novel of Marcel Proust. He has published in peer review journals and presented conference papers in different universities of the world.

His areas of practice are CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing) and Psychogenealogy.

He is committed in assisting people suffering from anxiety, depression, emotional issues, difficult relationships and complex trauma.

He is a registered member of PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia), CCAA (Christian Counselling Association of Australia) and listed in ARCAP (Australian Register of Counsellors & Psychotherapists).

He speaks English, Italian and French fluently.

 

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