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Oceania Health Advice

Stay informed and be prepared

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With a surface area of 8 million km², Oceania is smaller than any of the world's continents. Encompassing all land between Asia and the Americas, this small continental region is mainly composed of island states, which are themselves divided into four regions. Whether you are visiting Australia, the Fiji islands, Hawaii or French Polynesia, it is vital to arrange the best preventive care and know what to do to protect your health.

Which vaccines do you need to visit Oceania?

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Whether you are going to visit the magnificent Sydney Harbour or the fine sandy beaches of Wallis and Futuna, there are no mandatory vaccines for visiting Oceania. However, all responsible travellers will still make sure they are up to date with the most important vaccinations, in particular:

  • DTP (Diphtheria-Tetanus-Poliomyelitis),
  • Pertussis,
  • Measles (MMR),
  • Hepatitis A,
  • Hepatitis B.

Only travellers from at-risk countries (such as African and Asian countries) have to be vaccinated against yellow fever.

It is also highly recommended, but not mandatory, to be vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis, which is sometimes found in northern Australia and in some islands, especially for extended stays of over two weeks.

Lastly, also for extended stays or for globe-trotters who travel abroad frequently, typhoid fever vaccination is highly recommended. Typhoid is more often present in the small islands in Oceania.

Preventing infectious and parasitic diseases in Oceania

Oceania is quite a safe region that has not experienced any fatal tropical epidemics for several decades. The main risks are related to venomous animals, especially in Australia, and infectious diseases carried by mosquitoes.

Dengue is present in some island states in Oceania and in the Queensland region of Australia. The risk is, however, extremely low for travellers, with very few cases recorded every year.
However, countries in Oceania are within the area affected by malaria, one of the most widespread diseases in the world. If you experience symptoms during your trip, contact your doctor immediately.

To protect yourself against malaria and dengue, it is highly recommended that you take preventive medication, wear mosquito repellent and invest in a mosquito net. Cases of malaria in Oceania are, however, less frequent than in other global regions.

You should also be wary of animals. This is because, mainly in Australia but also in other island states in Oceania, certain animals are venomous, and can sometimes have fatal consequences for humans.

Stonefish have been detected in Australia. The poison contained in stonefish venom causes paralysis and can result in drowning. It is therefore important to wear suitable protective shoes when swimming.
Swimming can also be dangerous for another reason: water can contain schistosoma, a flatworm responsible for causing an itchy, inflamed rash on the skin. To protect yourself, avoid swimming in murky water.

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