Travel Health Information For The Pacific Islands

The region of Oceania represents a vast expanse of the world where the Pacific Ocean connects the nations. The area is home to pristine white beaches, coconut palms, beautiful coral reefs and volcanic islands rising out from beneath the blue ocean. Oceania offers up a range of diverse countries including;


World famous for its variety of unusual animals, wide open spaces the 'bush', beaches and the outback, Australia offers any traveler a diverse range of travel experiences. Australia is the sixth-largest country by land area, and the world's largest island.

New Zealand

Known as Australia's cousin, the nearby destination of New Zealand is a must for lovers of all things natural. The landscape features pristine jagged mountains and glacial waterways, rainforests and active volcano zones. Once away from the North Island, the land is sparsely populated however its easily accessible to travelers, many of which hire campervans to explore the region independently.

Papua New Guinea

A visit to Papua New Guinea is like taking a step back in time for travelers to the region. The country remains relatively untouched by progress with many of its population sustaining themselves through subsistence farming practices. Many villages to this day have none of the modern conveniences of home including electricity and plumbing. The best way to experience PNG is by cruise ship, as many areas of the country extremely dangerous for independent travelers, especially women.


Polynesia is made up of many small island nations dotted throughout the Pacific. Each with their own unique cultural influence. Many of the islands feature pristine beaches, dense rainforests and volcanos making it a much loved destination for those who look to relax and soak up the sun on a private beach surrounded by swaying palm trees.


Melanesia consists of a number of island nations including Fiji, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Norfolk Island which is a popular tourist destination for Australians due to its place in colonial history. Classified as part of Australia, the island's remaining 2,000 inhabitants are descendants of the famous mutineer convicts from Captain Cook's ship 'Bounty'.


The Federated States of Micronesia are located in the North Eastern region of Oceania and include island nations such as Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae and Yap. Other countries situated in Micronesia include, Kiribati, Nauru, Northern Mariana Island, Marshall Islands and Palau.

The Pacific Islands are dotted throughout the Oceania region with a diverse landscape and wildlife offering tourists to the area a unique perspective from that of many other holiday destinations. It's these island destinations that specifically represent an opportunity for any traveler to relax, unwind and enjoy the delights the region has to offer.


When heading away to any destination, older travelers should take the time to undertake and pre-prepare for their journey away from home. Tropical climates can, and indeed pose a risk to travelers of any age, with many unknowingly placing themselves at risk of exposure to illness or disease.

The following information provides the traveler with a list of known exposure risks for those considering traveling to any destination within the Pacific Island region. Always consult with your Doctor before traveling overseas.

Note: The following material has been provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be relied on as a substitute for professional medical advice. No person should act, fail to act, disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking professional medical advice on the basis of this material. The Travelnanna website, nor its representatives does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any of this information and will not be liable for any loss, damage or injury directly or indirectly caused by this material or its use.

Chicken Pox

This very common infectious disease can now be prevented through immunization. Many people miss the disease in childhood only to have significant illness as an adult.

Chikungunya Virus, Dengue Fever, Zika Virus

Chikungunya Virus, Dengue Fever and Zika Virus are viral illnesses borne by mosquitoes. The risk is present in many countries in the tropics. There is no vaccine to prevent these illnesses (Dengue fever vaccine is currently available in a few countries). Please discuss your travel plans with a doctor who can assess your risk based on your itinerary.

Ciguatera Poisoning

Ciguatera can occur after eating large pelagic reef fish. It is important to follow safe eating and drinking principles when traveling through the Pacific Island region.

Hepatitis A

This is a viral disease of the liver which is transmitted through eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.

Hepatitis B

This is a viral disease of the liver that is transmitted via blood, blood products or bodily fluids and is vaccine preventable.


Travelers go through crowded venues like airports, or on other types of commuter transport. Influenza is the most common vaccine preventable travel-related illness. Vaccination against influenza is generally highly recommended.


Malaria is transmitted by a night biting mosquito. The decision to use, or not use anti-malarial drugs should be made after consultation with a travel health doctor, taking into consideration the relative malaria risk of areas on the traveler’s itinerary as well as any potential side effects.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

Vaccination is recommended for travelers born after 1966 who cannot confirm that have received two doses of measles containing vaccine. This may have been the combination vaccine MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).


Tetanus, Pertussis, Diphtheria

Tetanus is caused by a toxin released by common dust or soil bacteria which enters the body through a wound. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection of the throat and occasionally the skin. Pertussis or whooping cough (known as the 100 day cough in Chinese) is a highly infectious respiratory infection responsible for over 300,000 deaths annually, mainly in children. These three illnesses are preventable and covered in the same vaccine.

Traveler’s Diarrhoea

Up to 40% of tourists may develop three or more loose bowel motions a day within the first week of travel. A variety of germs can be responsible for this infection and a travelers may choose to pack products such as Gastro-Stop to remedy the problem quickly.


Typhoid fever is caused by bacteria found in contaminated food and water. It is endemic in the developing world and vaccination is recommended for travelers to areas where environmental sanitation and personal hygiene may be poor.

Sandra Hawkins

Subscribe to

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox.

or subscribe via RSS with Feedly!