There has been a dramatic increase in the number of infectious diseases caught by West Australians when they visit Bali.
A study shows that increased travel to the Indonesian island has resulted in a rising number of serious diseases, such as dengue fever and salmonella gastroenteritis.
WA Health Department researchers say their findings highlight the need for better education of travellers about risks and preventative measures.
Their research found the number of flights from WA to Indonesia increased more than five-fold from 2006 to 2012.
Of all travellers to Indonesia in 2011, 90 per cent visited Bali.
In 2012, a total of 2605 notifiable infectious diseases were acquired overseas by West Australians. Of these, 41 per cent were caught in Indonesia, mostly in Bali.
From 2006 to 2012, the number of cases originating in Indonesia increased six-fold, from 178 to 1078.
Dengue fever was the disease most commonly acquired in Indonesia in 2012, with 415 notifications. This represents 80 per cent of all WA dengue cases.
It was also the disease with the biggest increase since 2006, when there were nine cases.
Other diseases caught in Indonesia in 2012 included salmonella gastroenteritis with 263 cases, campylobacter gastroenteritis with 157 cases, chlamydia with 95 cases and gonorrhoea with 37 cases.
Less common diseases included hepatitis A, HIV, legionnaires’ disease, malaria, typhus and typhoid fever.
In addition, 157 people needed rabies prophylaxis after animal encounters in Bali.The researchers will present their results at the annual meeting of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases in Canberra on Wednesday.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.