Brazil is beautiful, exotic and jam-packed with a host of potentially deadly biters, suckers, invaders and downright nasties. From fire ants and invisible worms to vampire bats and the legendary candiru fish, Dr. Mike puts his body on the line to see what makes humans so attractive to these hungry critters. From the back streets of Rio de Janeiro to the forests of the mighty Amazon River, Dr. Mike learns how the tiniest animals can deliver the deadliest punch.
Rio de Janeiro: In beautiful Rio, Mike gets up-close and personal with the unforgiving fire ant and realizes to his horror that he is one of those rare cases who has a life-threatening reaction to the bite.
LOCATION: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Favelea da Rocinha: While visiting a favela, Mike encounters the infamous Brazilian wandering spider; a bite from this beauty can leave men with an embarrassing side effect.
LOCATION: Favela Da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Meeting of the Waters: Mike takes a refreshing dip in the Amazon but finds that this could be deadly -- tiny parasitic worms can penetrate your skin, laying their eggs inside your body and causing the potentially fatal illness called schistosomiasis.
LOCATION: Meeting of the Waters -- Rio Solimões and Rio Negro, Brazil
Amazon Rainforest: Mike journeys deep into the Amazon rainforest and samples indigenous healing methods when he visits a forest doctor who runs a pharmacy and surgery deep in the rainforest. There he fortifies himself with a secret concoction to ward against malaria and stomach problems.
LOCATION: Deep in the Amazon rainforest
Other Points of Interest --
Sugarloaf Mountain: Pão de Açúcar is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Christ the Redeemer: O Cristo Redentor is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Manaus City Centre: Manaus is situated at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers in Brazil.
Home to over a billion people, there's a lot to watch out for if you want to keep your cool in India. Join Virologist Dr. Mike Leahy as he travels from the chaotic metropolis of Mumbai to Varanasi -- India's spiritual and cultural heart. With so many people living in such close quarters, India is also home to a vast population of nasty bugs keen to invade or attack the unwary … and the overly inquisitive.
Juhu Beach: Dr. Mike is in the bustling commercial city of Mumbai where he has arrived in time for the end of monsoon celebrations at Juhu Beach -- a colorful gathering of devotees and an ideal environment for the skin-munching scabies mite.
LOCATION: Situated on the shores of the Arabian Sea, Juhu Beach is the most famous beach in Mumbai.
Charak Health Center: Even intrepid virologists need some pampering, so Mike agrees to indulge in what he thinks will be a relaxing therapeutic treatment. Instead he's faced with half a dozen ravenous leeches that quickly get to work on his back, leaving a bloody trail in their wake. Leech therapy is believed to boost the immune system and, true to form, Mike's keen to give anything a try.
LOCATION: Charak Health Center, 1/8 Motilal Nagar No. 3, Goregaon-West, Mumbai–400 062
River Ganges, Varanasi: This sacred river serves as a ritual bathing place, a laundry, bathroom and sewer. Despite the health hazards, thousands of people take their daily ablutions in the Ganges, believing it will cleanse their bodies and souls. Dr. Mike tempts fate by taking a dip in this revered but highly polluted river.
LOCATION: The Ganges is one of India's major rivers, flowing east through the Gangetic Plain of Northern India into Bangladesh.
Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple: Dr. Mike visits this sacred temple, dedicated to the monkey god, Hanuman. Unwittingly he finds himself in the middle of a territorial spat between two macaque monkeys and is bitten by a cranky macaque.
LOCATION: Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple is one of the sacred temples of Hindu god Hanuman, in the city of Varanasi
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
The Gateway of India is a monument in Mumbai. Located on the waterfront in Apollo Bunder area in South Mumbai, the Gateway is a basalt arch 85 ft. high. In earlier times, the Gateway was the monument that visitors arriving by boat would have first seen in the city of Bombay.
Crawford Market (officially Sanket Phule) is one of South Mumbai's most famous markets. The market is situated opposite the Mumbai Police headquarters, just north of Victoria Terminus railway station and west of the J.J.flyover at a busy intersection.
Banaras Hindu University is a very green and peaceful campus. Few actually know that this university was built during India's freedom struggle and is known as the Oxford of the East.
In the heart of Southeast Asia, Vietnam is home to 90 million people, 10 million scooters and countless bugs and parasites. For audacious virologist Dr. Mike Leahy, it’s a tempting destination, providing plenty of opportunities to indulge his passion for lethal critters.
It’s here that Dr. Mike learns the hard way that there is a price to pay for his inquisitive nature and injures his pride as he negotiates the packed city streets.
Cuc Phuong National Park: Dr. Mike visits peaceful Cuc Phuong National Park and finds what appears to be a postcard-perfect lotus pond, but it harbors a dark secret. Underneath the peaceful surface lies a tough little parasite known as Cryptosporidium, which can cause cramps, vomiting and diarrhea -- definitely not high on the list of souvenirs for most travellers.
LOCATION: Cuc Phuong National Park, is located in Ninh Binh Province, in Vietnam’s Red River Delta.
Barber shop: With a curiously itchy head, Mike visits a local barber shop to cut down the potential louse habitat on his cranium.
Cu Chi Tunnels: In the notorious Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense underground network used by Vietnamese soldiers in the wars of the 1960s and '70s, Mike uses a special UV light to find a deadly Asian Forest Scorpion.
LOCATION: The tunnels of Củ Chi are located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Rice Paddy Field: Mike takes a stroll through a paddy field accompanied by a stubborn water buffalo to learn how a water-based disease continues to affect Vietnam War veterans decades after they first came into contact with the bacteria.
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
Ben Thanh Market is a big marketplace in the downtown area of Ho Chi Minh City. The market is one of the oldest structures in Saigon and today is considered one of the symbols of Ho Chi Minh City, popular with tourists seeking local handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs, as well as local cuisine.
Hanoi Opera House is an opera house in downtown Hanoi, Vietnam. It was erected by French colonists between 1901 and 1911.
The Old Quarter, near Hoan Kiem Lake, has the original street layout and architecture of old Hanoi. The area is famous for its local artisans and merchants, including many silk shops. Culinary specialties as well as several clubs and bars can be found here also. A night market (near Đồng Xuân market) in the heart of the district opens for business every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening with a variety of clothing, souvenirs and food.
Australia's Outback is a land of extremes –- soaring temperatures, vast landscapes and some of the most deadly creatures in the world -- an ideal holiday destination for globe-trotting virologist Dr. Mike Leahy. Never content to simply read about his specialist topic, Mike prefers to learn first-hand how the most minute of Earth's creatures can create major headaches for unsuspecting travelers. From an 8-legged murderess to a parasite that turns man's best friend into a killer, if the heat doesn't get you, it's quite possible the wildlife will.
Shearing Shed, Farm Station
In Australia, extreme heat and hazards come with the territory for Aussie farmers. Down in the shearing shed Mike tries his hand at shearing a sheep and finds out why it's a job best left to the professionals. The money and beer might be OK but the risk of catching scabby mouth is enough for Mike to stick with his day job.
Wool Shed, Farm Station
Despite the harshness of the environment, hardy humans have farmed this land for hundreds of years on vast ranches known as stations. Farming this amount of land would be impossible without the working dog but even the faithful collie can harbor a parasite capable of turning it into a rabid killer. Adult Hydatids tape worms move with ruthless efficiency through the food chain, and if their final destination is a human host, the effects can be deadly.
Alice Springs Desert
Dr. Mike heads to Alice Springs, a thriving Outback town in the heart of the red zone, where he's keen to find a bizarre-looking lizard the locals consider prime bush tucker. With razor sharp claws and teeth, the Perentie is Australia's biggest lizard and comes fully equipped with an impressive array of defense mechanisms.
Dr. Mike decides to seek out some of Australia's more common yet equally dangerous inhabitants. From bedbugs that inject their unsuspecting bed pals with saliva full of chemicals capable of stopping blood from clotting to a female spider who eats her male partner after sex and whose bite can kill the very young or old or anyone without an anti-venom kit handy, Mike learns that it pays to check before you sit or lie down here.
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
Uluru, also referred to as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory. It lies 335 km (208 mi) southwest of the nearest large town, Alice Springs -- 450 km (280 mi) by road.
Alice Springs Reptile Centre is a privately operated reptile centre and environmental education facility in Alice Springs. It has the largest collection of reptiles in the Northern Territory. Animals at the centre include the Perentie Goanna, Frill-necked Lizards, Thorny Devils, large and small pythons and venomous snakes including Inland Taipans, Brown Snakes, Death Adders and Mulga Snakes. The centre is a popular tourist destination, particularly for children.
Alice Springs Desert Park is an environmental education facility in Alice Springs. It is sited on 1300 haectares of land, with a core area of 52 hectares. It contains native animals and plants representative of central Australian desert environments and contributes to their conservation through research programs as well as through public education.