Avian Flu in Indonesia poses threat for travellers

Image Source: abc.net.au

With Indonesia being a preferred destination for Australian Baby Boomers, multiple cases of the avian flu being contracted by humans this year is a worry for travellers. Joanna Letner reports.


REPORTER: 2012 has witnessed a steep climb in the number of baby boomers holidaying in South-East Asia.

New Young Travel has identified Bali in Indonesia as the second most popular destination for Baby-Boomers with the other top 5 comprised of countries in South-East Asia such as Vietnam, Thailand, China and Malaysia.

However, holidaymakers need to be cautious when travelling to this location. At 83%, Indonesia has the world’s highest fatality rate from avian flu and in 2012, Indonesia has seen a return of the deadly strand of the virus that previously plagued the nation. All cases recorded by the World Health Organisation from this year have been fatal.

Lucy Wisniewska, coordinator of Aged Care and Health at CatholicCare, as a Baby Boomer herself has many precautions for holidaymakers her age.

LUCY WISNIEWSKA: Baby Boomers are aware of what’s happening, they have experience but they have a different immune system from young people. So it’s 50/50 because the Baby Boomers are probably more cautious, more prepared, but if they catch a disease over there I think it’s much harder to get rid of because of their age.

REPORTER: While the choice to holiday in Indonesia being so popular is attributed to the low price of accommodation and general everyday costs, Baby Boomers need to remember that they are more susceptible to contracting disease then their younger travelling counterparts.

Back in 2008 the strand identified in Indonesia was of a second generation, according to a Participatory Disease and Response Project by the governments of Indonesia and Japan, and over the past 4 years it is uncertain how far it has developed. This is particularly dangerous because researches believe that the constantly altering virus has the potential to become airborne within as few as 5 generations of mutation.

So to all baby-boomers making the trip, no matter how short your stay, ensure you take all the necessary precautions and double-check with your doctor prior to embarking on your journey.

This is Joanna Letner reporting for Baby Zoomers Magazine.


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