Health risks for tropical travel

June 9, 2017

Viruses are sweeping the planet.

A virologist at Murdoch University has warned of the health risks facing families heading away on winter breaks in Asia.

Professor Cassie Berry warns that there is an increasing occurrence of nasty viruses being brought back to Australia from neighbouring tropical countries.

“We are seeing more and more travellers to South East Asia contracting viruses such as Dengue fever, Measles, Hepatitis A, Avian Influenza and Chikungunya,” Professor Berry said.

“Many of these illnesses could be prevented with a dose of good planning.”

Professor Berry said that it was important to check in with your doctor a couple of months before travelling to get any necessary vaccines.

She also said that preventing insect bites and avoiding contact with bats and monkeys could help mitigate potentially serious health risks, and that people were also contracting preventable illnesses through swimming pools and eating raw foods.

Professor Berry is giving a free presentation on Monday, 12 June, on the threats facing humans from some of the major viruses sweeping the planet.

“Recently, lessons have been learned from three major outbreaks of deadly viruses; Zika (2015-16), Ebola (2014-15), and pandemic Swine Flu (2009), which exploded across the globe,” she said.

“Certain viruses present a dangerous threat, especially when we have little or no immunity. Their transmission and ability to jump species has increased as people have moved these diseases from isolated places into cities.

“However we do have ways to stop the spread of some viruses, as vaccines can assist the frontline battle through stimulation of the immune system.

“My vision is to see a world protected from the silent spread of unleashed viruses by protecting people against their spread. Everybody needs to do their bit to enhance public health.”

Professor Berry’s talk, ‘Virus Wars: Defeating the Invisible Enemy’, will be held at 6pm, Monday, 12 June, at Murdoch University’s Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre.

Bookings essential here.

See the latest news from Murdoch University here.

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Media contact: Pepita Smyth
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Categories: General, Events, Research, Health, biomedicine and psychology, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences Research
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