Health Information for Travelers to AustraliaClinician View
Vaccines and Medicines
Prepare travelers to Australia with recommendations for vaccines and medications.
Recommended for all travelers
Consider for most travelers; recommended for travelers at higher risk (e.g. visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water; or prone to "adventurous eating")
Fecal-oral route (contaminated food and water)
Hepatitis A (Yellow Book)
Consider for most travelers; recommended for those who might be exposed to blood or other body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment (e.g., for an accident).
Contact with blood and other body fluids:
Hepatitis B (Yellow Book)
Recommended for the following groups visiting certain remote areas:
Consider for the following groups:
Bite of infected mosquitoes (primarily Culex)
Japanese encephalitis (Yellow Book)
Recommended for the following groups:
Bites from bats (rabies is not present in canines or other mammals)
Rabies (Yellow Book)
Required for all people ≥1 year of age who enter Australia within 6 days of having stayed overnight or longer in a country with risk of YFV transmission,1 including São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, and Tanzania, but excluding Galápagos Islands in Ecuador and limited to Misiones Province in Argentina.
Bite of infected mosquitoes
Yellow Fever (Yellow Book)
The following diseases are possible risks your patients may face when traveling in Australia. This list is based on our best available surveillance data and risk assessment information at the time of posting. It is not a complete list of diseases that may be present in a destination. Risks may vary within different areas of a destination.
Counsel your patients on actions they can take on their trip to stay healthy and safe.
Industrialized country—no special precautions.Hide
Counsel travelers to take standard precautions against bug bites, including use of an appropriate insect repellent.
More Information on Insect Repellents
DEET (concentration of 20% or more) is the only insect repellent shown to be effective against ticks. However, several EPA-registered active ingredients provide reasonably long-lasting protection against mosquitoes:
- DEET (chemical name: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diethyl-3-methyl-benzamide): Concentrations above 50% show no additional protective benefit.
- Picaridin (KBR 3023 [Bayrepel] and icaridin outside the United States; chemical name: 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester): Must be reapplied more often than DEET.
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (chemical name: para-menthane-3,8-diol), the synthesized version of OLE. “Pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus (essential oil) is not the same product; it has not undergone similar testing for safety and efficacy, is not registered with EPA as an insect repellent, and is not covered by this recommendation.
- IR3535 (chemical name: 3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester).
Products with <10% active ingredient may offer only limited protection (1–2 hours).
Encourage patients to use repellents and reapply only as instructed. If sunscreen is also needed, they should apply sunscreen first and repellent second. Encourage them to follow package directions for using repellent on children and avoid applying to their hands, eyes, and mouth.
For more detailed information, visit the Yellow Book: Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Insects & Arthropods
- Using Insect Repellents Safely (EPA)
- Insect Repellent Use and Safety (CDC)
- National Pesticide Information Center
Advise travelers to exercise caution during outdoor activities. Important tips include dressing appropriately for the climate (such as loose, lightweight clothing in hot climates and warm layers in cold climates), staying hydrated, avoiding overexposure to the sun, and practicing safe swimming habits.
Encourage travelers to learn basic first aid and CPR before travel, especially if they will be traveling to remote areas where medical assistance may not be accessible. Help them assemble a travel health kit.
Counsel travelers to be cautious around all animals.
- Travelers could be at risk for injuries from domestic animals such as dogs or cats, even in industrialized countries.
- The best course of action is to avoid touching, petting, handling, or feeding animals, including pets.
- Arthropods such as spiders and scorpions can pose a stinging risk, and travelers should exercise care in environments where these creatures are likely to be present.
- Stress the urgency of treating suspected and probable rabies infection by:
- Washing the wound immediately with soap and clean water.
- Seeking medical attention as soon as possible.
People who are ill should not travel. Urge travelers to practice hand hygiene and sneeze into a tissue or their sleeve.Hide
Counsel travelers on the risks of diseases associated with the exchange of saliva, blood, vomit, semen, urine, and feces.
- Use a latex condom correctly every time they engage in sex (vaginal, anal, and oral-genital).
- Not inject drugs.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Not have tattoos, piercings, or other procedures that use needles (acupuncture) unless the needles are packaged new or sterilized.
- Ensure that medical and dental equipment is sterile or disinfected if seeking care.
Additional Resources:HIV & AIDS (YB)
Hepatitis B (YB)
Hepatitis C (YB)
Medical Tourism (YB) Hide
Travelers should plan for how to obtain health care during their trip, should the need arise.
Discuss supplemental travel health insurance and medical evacuation insurance, and consider helping the traveler obtain an extra month of prescriptions for any needed medications.Hide
Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.
Most recommendations for safe transportation are basic and could be considered common sense. However, travelers often do not think about the importance of being aware and careful when walking, riding, driving, or flying. Counsel travelers to think about transportation options before they arrive, especially if they will be driving in Australia.
Some basic reminders to review with your patients:
- Choose safe vehicles and avoid motorbikes when possible.
- Wear a seatbelt or a helmet at all times.
- Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
- If they will be driving, remind them to get any driving permits and insurance they may need. It is recommended to get an International Driving Permit (IDP).
- Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft, and fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats) when possible.
Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, Auto Insurance, and other resources.
Remind your patients that traffic flows on the left side of the road in Australia. Encourage them to pay close attention to the flow of traffic, especially when crossing the street.Hide
Travelers should be reminded on how to protect their personal safety during travel, regardless of their destination.
The US Department of State has an extensive website with safety information for international travelers, travel alerts and warnings, and country-specific information. Travelers should be directed to the Department of State resources for information and tips on safe travel.
Stay abreast of current events, particularly those that could pose a safety or health problem for travelers. You can also receive updates on new travel alerts and warnings from the US Department of State by subscribing to their RSS feeds.Hide
Healthy Travel Packing List
Remind your patients to pack health and safety items.
Medicines and Medical Supplies
Prescription medicines you take for existing conditions
Medicines you take regularly and copies of your prescriptions
Medical supplies you use for existing conditions
- Eyeglasses and contacts with copies of your prescription for glasses/contacts.
Consider packing spare glasses and contacts in case yours are damaged.
- Needles or syringes, such as for diabetes. (Requires a letter from your doctor on letterhead stationery.)
- Insulin supplies
- Epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens)
- Medical alert bracelet
- Eyeglasses and contacts with copies of your prescription for glasses/contacts.
Special prescriptions for the trip
Ask your doctor about taking special medicines or supplies:
- Antibiotic for travelers' diarrhea
- Medicine to prevent altitude sickness
- Diarrhea medicine (for example, loperamide [Imodium] or bismuth subsalicylate [Pepto-Bismol])
- Motion sickness medicine
- Cough drops
- Cough suppressant/expectorant
- Medicine for pain and fever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen)
- Mild laxative
- Mild sedative or other sleep aid
- Saline nose spray
Supplies to prevent illness or injury
Hand sanitizer or wipes
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol or antibacterial hand wipes
Select an insect repellent based on CDC recommendations: Avoid Bug Bites
Permethrine is insect repellent for clothing. It may be needed if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Clothing can also be treated at home in advance.
(SPF 15 or greater) with UVA and UVB protection. See Sun Exposure.
Sunglasses and wide brim hat
Wear for additional sun protection
Examples: child safety seats, bicycle helmets
Water purification tablets
May be needed if camping or visiting remote areas
First aid creams or gels
- 1% hydrocortisone cream
- Antifungal and antibacterial ointments or creams
- Antiseptic wound cleanser
- Aloe gel for sunburns
- Insect bite treatment (anti-itch gel or cream)
Bandages and blister care
- Bandages (multiple sizes), gauze, and adhesive tape
- Moleskin or molefoam for blisters
Elastic bandage wrap
Elastic/compression bandage wrap for sprains and strains
- Disposable gloves
- Digital thermometer
- Scissors and safety pins
- Cotton swabs (Q-Tips)
Health insurance documents
Health insurance card (your regular plan and/or supplemental travel health insurance plan) and copies of claim forms
Proof of yellow fever vaccination
If required for your trip, take your completed International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis card or medical waiver
Copies of all prescriptions
Make sure prescriptions include generic names. (Bring prescriptions for medicines, eye glasses/contacts, and other medical supplies).
Carry a contact card containing the street addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of the following:
- Family member or close contact remaining in the United States
- Health care provider(s) at home
- Lodging at your destination
- Area hospitals or clinics, including emergency services
- U.S. embassy or consulate in the destination country or countries
Advising Returning Travelers
Although some illnesses may begin during travel, others may occur weeks, months, or even years after return. A history of travel, particularly within the previous 6 months, should be part of the routine medical history for every ill patient. A newly returned, ill international traveler should be preferentially evaluated by a physician versed in travel-related illness.
Here are two professional medical organizations that provide directories of travel clinics throughout the United States:
- American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)
- International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM)
For more information on advising patients after international travel, see Yellow Book Chapter 5: Post-Travel Evaluation.
Map Disclaimer - The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement are generally marked.