Travel medicine video updates from Greece and North Africa

Everything is going quite well from Greece and we are prepping/packing for the upcoming trip to North Africa in 2 days.  We have already been shooting a lot of video on our Adventure Doc Talks video series and hopefully have some usable footage…we will see when we start the editing process.

After a few days in the southern Greek mainland, in the area of Sunio and the port town of Lavrio we started shooting video.  Marine life envenomations were the first topic we started with and we were lucky enough to find some sea urchins and jelly fish very quickly.

After the beaches on the Greek mainland we made our way to the island of  Crete.  On the ferry boat (8 hours) we managed to video sea sickness problems.  The old port of Xania was epic and very amazing…our hotel (Balmondo) was in the perfect location.  We hiked the Samaria gorge and shot our video on lower extremity injuries.  This was the perfect location to hurt your knees and ankles, fortunately none of us did!  We saw some great jellyfish and got some good information on dehydration treatment and prevention.

We are now back in Athens and plowing through a lot of video and completing our transfers onto hard-drive.  Lots of laundry to finish and we are packing for the next leg of the trip…Egypt and North Africa!  We are leaving in a few days and will be working down there for 12 days.  Pyramids, hummus, dehydration, the Nile river and heat stroke are all on the agenda!

Uploading pictures and video, to the web, from this location is difficult so we have to wait until we are back home to share the good stuff!

On the road…Travel time!

The Adventure Doc Clinic will be closed and the blog will not be updated as often as usual…We are traveling through Greece and North Africa working on shooting our travel and expedition medicine video series called Adventure Doc Talks!

We will be gone for approximately 7 weeks and the clinic will re-open in September, on our return.  To learn more about our travel medicine clinic visit: and our video project Adventure Doc Talks.  Thanks to all the involved parties who are helping us along the way including:

  • Oakley Sunglasses
  • Adventure Medical Kits
  • World Nomads Travel Insurance

We should have the initial edits done and ready to view in early December.  The topics we are covering include:  Dehydration, Sun burns and protection, Marine life envenomations and lower extremity injuries…

Check back for more updates and I will try to be updating the blog from the road…You can also follow us on twitter: @AdventureDoc

Thanks for visiting!

Expedition doctor and health care for hire while traveling

Services provided by The Adventure Doc Clinic
The healthcare of travelers and adventurers is the specialty of Adventure Doc Clinic. Our services keep costs to a minimum by allowing several tiers of medical coverage, tailored to each group’s individual needs. The medical staff of Adventure Doc is specially selected for their medical training in travel, expedition and emergency medicine. Our providers have all completed rigorous additional training to make them the most comprehensive practitioners in their fields.
The medical director of the Adventure Doc Clinic is Erik McLaughlin MD, MPH. Erik is an experienced traveler and adventurer in addition to his skills as a board certified physician. Dr. McLaughlin has completed a master’s degree in international health along with his diploma in travel and tropical medicine. He is an active member of both the Wilderness Medical Society and the International Society of Travel Medicine. Erik also is a frequent instructor, lecturer and author on topics related to travel and expedition medicine.
Expedition Doctor Accompaniment
The security of having a trained and experienced physician who specializes in Travel and Expedition Medicine adds a new dimension of safety to travelers. From pre-travel consultation including preventative health care, vaccines and potential health risks to health care in the field; our doctors add comprehensive health care coverage to any group of travelers, in any destination, performing any activity. Our physicians travel with the latest medical equipment and medications allowing them to diagnose and treat medical conditions in the field, immediately. Should illness or injury require evacuation, our doctors are there to assist and ensure the patients receive the highest level of care, regardless of location. With the help of our associated partners, medical evacuation and rescue from any location on the planet can be included in our services. This is truly a private, concierge doctor for adventurers.
 Paramedic Accompaniment
Travelers and expeditions do not always have the need or budget for a private “team doctor”. Adventure Doc offers paramedical services to accompany travelers and adventurers on their journeys. All paramedics have been hand-picked and benefited from additional training and experience in Travel Health and Emergency Medicine in both international and remote settings. Standard paramedical skills such as advanced life support, airway management, EKG interpretation and pain control are augmented with special training. All of our paramedics can travel with advanced medical diagnostic equipment and a medical kit containing advance life support equipment and medications, including antibiotics. Their additional training in conjunction with direct correspondence 24/7 with our medical control physician allows for a higher standard of care. Adventure Doc paramedics are capable of providing advanced medical support anywhere in the world, for any length of time and for any number of travelers/adventurers.
Remote Provider Access (LINC system)

For travelers and adventurers looking to have the benefit of consultation 24/7 with one of our specialized healthcare providers, without the expense of actually traveling with them, our Location Independent day/Night Contact (LINC) service is ideal. This allows for direct and personal contact with our health care providers via telephone, satellite phone or internet to assist with medical advice and care. Adventure Doc can also provide these communication devices. This service allows peace of mind to discuss and start treatment of illnesses without stopping the adventure to consult a local healthcare provider. This is a 24/7 service with access to your “private health care provider”. 

Adventure Doc is the premier provider of health care solutions for international travelers and adventurers. All of our health care packages are highly customizable allowing us to tailor each adventure with the best medical care possible, for any required time and in any location imaginable. Please feel free to contact us for more information on how we can help you get there and back again, in good health.

(011) 1-520-664-7661

Mediterranean cruise death and tick fever recent letter to the editor of Emerging Infectious Disease (EID), published by the CDC, discusses a case of Israeli Spotted Fever as the cause of death in a traveler who cruised the Mediterranean.  The article citation and link can be found here:

Boillat N, Genton B, D’Acremont V, Raoult D, Greub G. Fatal case of Israeli spotted fever after Mediterranean cruise [letter]. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Dec; [Epub ahead of print]

For those of you reaching for a textbook, let me save you some time…I already had to look it up. 

Basics:  Caused by Rickettsia conorii (sub-species israelensis) and closely related to Mediterranean Spotted Fever, this bacteria is intra-cellular and gram negative.  Spread by the bites of infected ticks, lice and fleas,  common symptoms include fevers, rash, bleeding from nose, hepatomegaly and a eschar at the site of the initial bite.  This is typically a self-limited disease and has fatality rate of < 3%, even without treatment.

Location:  Worldwide, with region specific illness (and nicknames) common.  Examples include Mediterranean Spotted Fever, South African tick-typhus, tsutsugamushi and many others.

Transmission/Prevention:  Transmitted though the bite of an infected tick, body lice, or chigger.  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is transmitted through the tick Dermacentor variabilis or D. andersoni.  Prevention is basic sanitation, prevention of bites through permethrin treated clothing and frequent tick-checks.

Diagnosis:  serology/pcr

Treatment:  Antibiotic treatments include doxycycline, typically for 5-7 days or 48 hours after a patient is afebrile. 

The case report notes that the patient died, even with adequate treatment.  The authors also pointed out that delayed antibiotics (6 days) could have been a factor in this unusual cause of mortality.

The location where this illness was contracted is also another question.  His trip took him through Crete, Libya and Malta.  Again, the authors speculate that he acquired the infection in Libya, where he spent several days touring the ruins of Appolonia, Sabratha and Ptolemais.  The incubation period of 7-8 days places him in Libya, prior to onset of symptoms.  Death was eleven days after the initial symptoms and occurred in Switzerland.

This article hopefully reminds everyone to think about a rickettsial disease in a febrile traveler, especially with a rash.  No history of a tick bit or insect bite was noted, in this case.  Frequent tick-checks can also be helpful and a source of bonding with your travel companions.  These insects seem to like areas of the body where hair grows.

CDC Tick Borne Diseases