Travel for work or pleasure can often be a last-minute rush, but the one thing you don’t want to forget is your vaccinations.
Chromis Occupational Medicine can put your mind at rest with their comprehensive knowledge of domestic and international vaccine requirements and access to the necessary resources.
Dr Christine Aus is a qualified travel doctor and fully conversant with the latest vaccine protocols, regulations and alerts, both home and abroad.
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She also gives regular talks and training to GPs on travel medicine and works with Hunter New England Health to deliver public health conferences.
“Travel is so much cheaper these days,” Dr Aus said.
“People are going to places that not so long ago were not so accessible.
“Unfortunately there is a danger that they start to think it’s like going to Australia.
“Going to Bali is not like going to Surfers Paradise. They still have rabies in Bali.”
Vaccines help people gain immunity from preventable diseases by introducing part of the virus to a human and using the body’s natural defences to build resistance to that specific disease.
Most Australians are familiar with government-subsidised mass vaccination programs for childhood illnesses like measles, mumps and rubella.
Less common is awareness of more obscure vaccinations related to employment and overseas travel.
Domestically there are a wide range of lesser known nasties that Dr Aus encounters at Chromis.
“Vaccination for hepatitis A and B is common in the waste industry, and we do flu shots for a wide range of industries, but an interesting lesser-known example is Q Fever, first discovered in Australia and prevalent throughout rural Australia,” Dr Aus said.
“Q Fever can cause all types of chronic issues, including death. Awareness is growing but it is a serious concern in the country.
“Vaccination is recommended for anyone with frontline exposure to animals, and in particular, anyone exposed to animals giving birth – farm workers, abattoir workers, vets.”
It’s not just frontline workers who need to be mindful of Q Fever.
“Contractors travelling to do work in abattoirs, or students at agricultural colleges like Tocal should be screened and vaccinated too,” Dr Aus said. “Cats and dogs are affected, so veterinarian staff should, in principle, be vaccinated.
“Family members need to be vaccinated as well. They might have a poddy calf, or see a cow delivered, or the pet dog is infected. These are common scenarios in the country and unknown exposure is a reality that people need to be aware of.”
The great advantage of dealing with an occupational medicine practice is that practitioners like Dr Aus are familiar with the testing and screening procedures and understand the challenges involved.
“With Q Fever you need to be screened and tested in a certain way – you need to have skin and blood testing done then exactly seven days later have the results read and vaccinate,” Dr Aus said.
“Due to the logistics it’s tricky for, say, a farmer,” Dr Aus said. “Scheduling time off the farm can be a challenge, and expensive, particularly if you live in a remote area. Mass campaigns are not appropriate, because you have to know if you have been exposed to Q Fever to start with.
“If you administer the vaccine and you already have had exposure, you can get very sick. A dedicated occupational medicine practice knows all this and is equipped to deal with it.
“The beauty of Chromis is that you can come to us, or we can come to you.”
Similarly Chromis has all the latest up-to-date information on what is and isn’t required for work or play overseas.
“Hunter people working in the mining industry travel regularly to places like Africa, South America, Papua New Guinea and Mongolia,” Dr Aus said.
“It’s important that employees be fit for deployment to do important business.
“What vaccinations you need will depend on where you’re going and what you’re doing.
“Yellow fever is a specialised vaccine for places like Africa and South America, for example, while Japanese Encephalitis is a nasty virus in PNG.”
Chromis is authorised to do ‘Fit for Travel’ and ‘Fit for Purpose’ checks and has all the vaccines on site.
With offices at Newcastle and Maitland, Chromis is the classic one-stop shop for all your vaccination requirements.
“It’s that convenience that people appreciate, along with our specialised knowledge and resources,” Dr Aus said.
For more information about vaccinations or pre-employment medicals, ring 02 4936 9999, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.chromis.com.au.