Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.
Sep 06 2011
Armadillos & Leprosy in the Southern U.S.
A baby 9-band armadillo, native to the southern U.S.Zoonoses are diseases caused by exposure to animals. Leprosy (Hansen’s disease) caused by Mycobacterium leprae has had enormous significance worldwide historically. It is not just a disease of...
Aug 29 2011
In the Wake of Hurricane Irene – Methods of Water Disinfection
A store in New York city, boarded up in preparation for Hurricane Irene. Photo courtesy of David Shankbone (CC BY 3.0)In the wake of Hurricane Irene, many people will be without electrical power for days. If they need to disinfect water to obtai...
Aug 26 2011
Effectiveness of Herpes Zoster (Shingles) Vaccine in Older Adults
I am often asked by elder persons whether or not they should take the herpes zoster (“shingles”) vaccine. Up until this point, I have been answering “yes” based on my own experience, but now there is some data to support this recommendation. ...
Aug 22 2011
The Role of the Routine Physical Examination in Young People
Increasing numbers of young people participate in outdoor activities, including strenuous competitive athletics. In so doing, they subject their bodies to stresses that are more intense and prolonged than those presented by a largely sedentary ...
Aug 18 2011
Good News Regarding Fab Antivenom for Snakebite
The current standard of care with regard to using antivenom for pit viper snakes (e.g., rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths) in North America is to use Crotalidae polyvalent immune Fab antivenom (CroFab;FabAV). This antivenom is created usi...
Aug 15 2011
What to Expect After a Natural Disaster
Sichuan earthquake rescue workers carrying an injured person. In light of the widespread media coverage of natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan, the public and medical professionals are aware of the antici...
Aug 11 2011
Progress in Obtaining a Better Yellow Fever Vaccine
Yellow fever is an affliction caused by a potentially lethal viral (flavivirus) hemorrhagic (causes bleeding) virus common in parts of Africa and South America. A highly effective vaccine made from live virus (known as the “17D vaccine”) is cur...
Aug 08 2011
Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea Down the Colorado River
The following is a book review I wrote that was just published in the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine: Running Dry by Jonathan Waterman (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic; 2010,$26 U.S., 305 pages, hardcover) is in many wa...
Aug 03 2011
WMS Publishes Guidelines on Acute Altitude Illness
Led by Andrew Luks MD and his colleagues, the Wilderness Medical Society has published Consensus Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Altitude Illness (Wild Environ Med 2010:21;146-155). These guidelines are intended to provide ...
Jul 25 2011
How to Prevent Drowning
As summer continues in North America, and for anyone who goes near the water during any time of year, prevention of drowning is very important. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) takes its responsibilities on this issue seriously, and in ...