Gadling Take FIVE: Week of May 2–May 8

Sometimes a Gadling post grabs one’s attention and you think, “Gaad!”

  • That’s what I thought when I read Scott’s post about the flesh eating bacteria that killed a man while he was on a cruise. I’m heading off on my first cruise in August. Naturally, a flesh-eating bacteria cruise story has impact.
  • There are other posts that make a person ponder about life in general. That’s what happened when I read Tynan’s post on coping with travel disasters. His method is a make lemonade out of lemons version which serves him well.
  • As you may have noticed we’re starting a new series on budget travel. This one involves places to drive to from somewhere else. Here are budget destinations so far: Scott has the scoop on Santa Claus, Indiana (from Chicago); Grant’s a whiz at Ann Arbor, Michigan (from Detroit) and Catherine knows about Puget Sound and San Juan Islands ( from Seattle.) There’s much more coming. Each of us have favorite spots that don’t cost a lot, but offer a wonderful time.
  • If you’re looking for an interesting, blogging way to fund travel, check out Aaron’s post on Roads Scholarship. Think of it as a paid internship.
  • For anyone heading to New York City, Jeremy’s post on fun and games offers a unique way to take in the urban scene through Bocce Ball, chess and more. As he points out, immigrant groups have brought their games with them to the Big Apple adding an international mix to what visitors can enjoy.

Flesh eating bacteria consumes cruise passenger in 24 hours

Have you had your breakfast/lunch/dinner yet? Because this story is bound to upset your stomach.

While on a Mediterranean cruise, 58 year old Raymond Evans hurt his knee during a fall. The injury was nothing serious, but the ships doctor put Mr. Evans on an antibiotic regimen, just to be safe.

Despite the shots, his widow said his condition started to deteriorate, and that the back of his knee was turning black. This developed into a “blotchy blackness” that spread to his chest, elbow and fingers, and he was admitted into the ships hospital.

When the ship docked in Alexandria, Egypt, Mr.Evans was transported to the intensive care unit of the city’s hospital where he died hours later. The total time from noticing the blackness on his knee till death was just 24 hours.

A pathologist told the official inquiry that Mr.Evans had been infected by the flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciitis (warning: graphic images on that page!).

The pathologist concluded that Mr.Evans had not caught the bug during his fall, because the symptoms of the flesh eating bug usually start hours after being infected, so the most probable source was something on the cruise ship that entered through his wounds.

This is of course just another example of the health risks involved with cruise ships. For years, cruise lines have struggled with the norovirus as we previously covered here, here and here. Still, common sense and basic hygiene precautions should help keep you perfectly safe when you get on board.

The cruise ship photo above is for illustrative purposes only – that is not necessarily the ship involved in this incident.