School-leavers need to put health ahead of partying or what was supposed to be a week of fun may have long-term consequences.

As of May 2013 particular risks have been highlighted on the Australian Government’s Smartraveller website and elsewhere for travellers to Bali with rabies, dengue fever, typhoid and general hygiene all common concerns.

Schoolies are often told of the risks and dangers associated with alcohol, drugs and unprotected sex, but for those venturing abroad there are more dangers they might not be aware of.

The Australian Government raises concerns for Bali travellers providing some helpful health tips on its Smartraveller website:

  • Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B can be easily contracted overseas- Schoolies should be vaccinated against both diseases!
  • Measles cases have been diagnosed in the last two months from travellers returning from Bali- full protection for measles requires two doses of the vaccine four weeks apart.
  • Methanol has been linked to poisonings within alcoholic drinks- be wary of traditional ‘arak’, drink only at licensed premises if of age and be cautious of labelling and substitution of drinks.
  • Magic mushrooms– widely available and legal in Bali ‘magic mushrooms’ can cause major health problems such as severe hallucinations, erratic behaviour, anxiety and even psychosis, it should be avoided at all costs.
  • Mosquito borne illnesses (dengue fever and malaria)- take measures to avoid insect bites, including using an insect repellent at all times and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing.
  • Rabies can be contracted through contact animal contact- avoid direct contact with dogs and other mammals, including monkeys.
  • The Typhoid infection can be picked up by consuming contaminated food or water- boil all drinking water, avoid ice cubes and be cautious of all food offered by street vendors.
  • Henna tattoos should be avoided- the temporary dye often can cause serious skin reactions.                                                                                                                                                   

They suggest if Schoolies haven’t organised travel insurance then they shouldn’t be travelling, with Bali listed as a destination where travellers need to ’exercise a high degree of caution’.

Heading overseas for Schoolies week or know someone who is? Tell us your travel plans and your best piece of advice for keeping safe abroad…