West Australians travelling to Bali are failing to take basic precautions to protect themselves from diseases infections, the peak medical association has warned.
GPs are seeing an increase in the number of illnesses and accidents from Bali travellers, Australian Medical Association WA vice-president Dr Michael Gannon said.
"I think travel to Bali has become so normal and so routine that people perhaps don't think about the safeguards that exist in a country like Australia," Dr Gannon said.
"It's a fantastic destination and many people find it very cheap, it's exciting, it's exotic, but the rules over the way food's prepared and presented and infection control, are not the same as they are in Australia, there's not the same oversight," he said.
The association has warned travellers to be aware of the increased risks of blood-borne diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, rabies, whooping cough, measles, gastroenteritis, dengue and typhus when holidaying in Indonesia.
"Our message is basic and clear: don't take a holiday from common sense when you travel and always observe basic health and safety rules, such as wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle, making sure food is freshly cooked, drinking only bottle or boiled water, and making sure fruit is washed," Dr Gannon said.
The warning comes on the anniversary of WA's first recorded case of suspected HIV infection from a Bali tattoo parlour, and as thousands of West Australians make the pilgrimage to the Indonesian Island for the Christmas holidays.
Dr Gannon warned many blood-borne diseases, including HIV, can be passed through a dirty needle, and the henna tattoos popular on the island can cause serious and long term skin reactions."I wouldn't dream of having a tattoo in Bali, it beggars belief people would consider doing that," Dr Gannon said.
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