Sussex Travel Clinic

Hove Clinic

01273 749100

Worthing Clinic

01903 254774

Over the past 3 years there have been a large number of outbreaks of pertussis in Australia. In 2011 37,880 cases were reported, an increase of more than 3000 from those reported in 2010.  In 2011 most cases have occurred in four states:New South Wales(12,930),Queensland(8,819),Victoria(8,568) andWestern Australia(3,763). [1]. The Western Australian Health Authority is warning that the state may be facing an epidemic.

 

What is whooping cough?

Whooping cough is a highly infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella Pertussis. Transmission is through the respiratory route and symptoms include: severe coughing spells, breathing difficulties, vomiting and sleep disturbance.

Sussex Travel Clinic has been having some enquiries from concerned travellers who are concerned either because of risk of contracting pertussis themselves or because, if infected, they may put young children at risk. (e.g. grandparents visiting new grandchildren who are not  yet vaccinated)

In the UK children under the age of 10 are routinely immunised against pertussis. Adults and those over the age of 10 are not routinely offered boosters, although some countries, Australia included, do offer a booster dose to adolescence as part of their immunisation programme.

Immunity following infection or vaccination against pertussis wanes over time and there is no test to check immunity.

Advice for Travellers

  •  Evidence of immunisation against pertussis is not an entry requirement forAustralia
  • If you are travelling with children make sure that they are up to date with all of their routineUKimmunisations.
  • If you are going to do medical work inAustraliayou may be required to produce evidence of pertussis immunisation- speak to your employer before you travel.
  • If you are likely to have close contact with children less than 12 months of age and you are not immune practice routine respiratory precautions such as good hand hygiene and avoiding persons known to be infected.
  • Adult boosters of pertussis vaccine are not recommended for theUK. [2]. If you are planning a long stay trip to risk areas you should consider receiving a pertussis-containing vaccine formulated for adults and adolescents at your destination.

To discuss this further please call our nurses on 01273 749100.

References

  1. http://www.nathnac.org/pro/clinical_updates/pertussis_au_130112.htm
  2. http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/australasia–pacific/australia.aspx

Sussex Travel Clinic carried out our annual client survey during February 2012.

Here are the results.

Over a 2 week  period 68% of all clients seen  completed a survey form.

100% of our clients would recommend our service to a friend.

87% rated the expertise of our staff as excellent.

86% rated the overall service as excellent.

 

 What can we do to improve our service?

 1 client said they found it difficult to get through on the telephone.

 Our response.

Our phones lines are answered during the following times:  Monday to Friday 9 am till 5 pm and till 7 pm on a Monday and Thursday, 10 – 1 pm on a Saturday. Unfortunately, during our busy periods it may be difficult to get through. To address this Sussex Travel Clinic now offers an online booking service and hopes that this will reduce the amount of call volume through the clinic.

 Comments

 ‘ Very efficient staff, no complaints’

 ‘ Very kind and helpful staff’

 ‘ Very polite and helpful staff’

 ‘ Your service has been extremely useful and supportive re: my travel plans and queries. I cannot think of any improvements’