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Advice to travellers about smallpox vaccination

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The Director-General of Health, Dr Gwyn Howells, today

advised all travellers intending to visit the United Kingdom to have a smallpox vaccination before leaving Australia.

Dr Howells said the advice had become necessary following confirmation of a case of smallpox in Birmingham, UK. Birmingham had been declared an infected area by the

World Health Organisation, which was keeping a close watch on the situation in association with British medical authorities. ,

Dr Howells said that a smallpox vaccination before

depature from Australia for England would set at rest any worries that travellers might have about the outbreak.

Vaccination would also cover the possibility of spread

to other parts of the UK, in which case Australian authorities might have to make smallpox vaccination a , requirement for entry into Australia from that country.

The Director-General said that quarantine officers at

Australia’s ports had already begun screening visitors . from England. Until further notice any person travelling to Australia who has been in the Birmingham area is . required to have a current vaccination certificate . for entry into Australia. . ’

Smallpox vaccinations are available from general , practitioners and State offices of the Commonwealth Department of Health. .

Canberra, 1 September 1978