Bite Me With Dr Mike Leahy

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Sunday 22 November, 6.30pm

If you’re not on guard, Mexico is a land of mini monsters keen to terminate your travels in a heartbeat. From a massive flesh-eating maggot to a parasite that can steal your sight, it pays to do your homework before venturing too far in colourful Mexico. Adventure junkie and virologist Dr Mike Leahy is well aware of the dangers presented by some of the country’s smallest yet most deadly inhabitants but for him, no trip is complete without pushing the boundaries a little. Join Mike as he puts his health and his body on the line, running the gamut between wellness and potentially fatal disease in the name of science.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Sunday 15 November, 6.30pm

From the dense tropical rainforest to the natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland is an idyllic travel destination. It’s also home to an amazing array of beautiful yet deadly creatures. From a nettle on steroids to a killer bird, continent hopping virologist Dr Mike Leahy meets some of the smallest yet most lethal locals in this sun lover’s paradise.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Sunday 8 November, 6.30pm

Australia’s Outback is a land of extremes – soaring temperatures, vast landscapes and some of the most deadly creatures in the world. Stretching from the arid West Coast to the tropical green belt on the eastern edge of the continent, the Outback is immense. Not 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 travellers. From an eight 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.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Sunday 25 October, 6.30pm

After testing out holistic leech therapy and getting up close and personal with a handful of intestinal hitchhikers, Mike has a close call with a troupe of macaque monkeys – which can be carriers of the deadly B virus. He also encounters the whip scorpion and the bombardier. After a swim in the Ganges, Mike feels poorly and is diagnosed with a giardia infection – meaning somewhere along the way he swallowed someone’s infected faecal matter. Before leaving, Mike sees the devastating effects caused by two notorious bloodsuckers: sand flies and mosquitoes.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Sunday 11 October, 6.30pm

If it sucks, bites or stings, Dr Mike Leahy is on a mission to find it. Scouring the globe for some of the most advanced killers in the animal kingdom, Mike proves that size does not matter when it comes to posing the biggest threat to humans. Brazilian fire ants offer Mike a most unfriendly welcome into Rio de Janeiro – he ends up in the ER. Mike then maintains a safe distance from his next target, the Brazilian wandering spider, whose venom has a peculiar effect on men, causing a painful, long-lasting erection. He then shows off the deceptively innocent Lanomia caterpillar whose needle-like spines can administer a nasty toxin that causes bleeding from the gums, bloody vomit and urine – even death. Mike also investigates dangers in the water, like carnivorous piranhas, freshwater parasites and one frisky fish that can dart up a human’s urethra, but cannot work its way back out.