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With globalization, humans are more vulnerable to outbreaks from any part of the world; increasingly, the health of each nation depends on the health of all. Yet public health has been pushed down the list of priorities. In India, an outbreak of bubonic plague created international hysteria, ridiculous in an age when the plague can easily be treated with antibiotics--that is, if you have a public-health system in place. India, busy putting its newfound wealth elsewhere, didn't. In Zaire, the deadly Ebola virus broke out in a filthy and completely unequipped hospital, and would have kept up its rampage if the organization Doctors Without Borders hadn't stepped in, not with high-tech equipment or drugs, but with soap, protective gear, and clean water. Most of the world still doesn't have access to these basic public-health necessities. The 15 states of the former Soviet Union have seen the most astounding collapse in public health in the industrialized world. But during a cholera epidemic, officials refused to use the simple cure public-health workers have long relied on--oral rehydration therapy. Many of the problems in these nations can also be found in one degree or another in the U.S., where medical cures using expensive technology and drugs have been emphasized to the detriment of protecting human health. The result? More than 100,000 Americans die each year from infections caught in hospitals, and America has a disease safety net full of holes.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist (for Newsday and others), Garrett has deftly turned what could have been a very dry subject into dramatic reportage, beginning with the eerie silence on the streets of Surat, India, where half the city's population (including doctors) fled the plague, while a thick white layer of DDT powdered the ground. Fascinating, frightening, and well-documented, Betrayal of Trust should be read not only by medical professionals and policymakers but the general public, and should galvanize a change in thinking and priorities. --Lesley Reed
I'm struggling to get through this book - I like it because it sheds light on important public health emergencies in the past, but the writing style makes it clear that the author... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Anushka Mangharam
This book provides an excellent history of public health over the last century or so, centering on several particular places around the world. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Careful Reader
Terrific information, well-written. Occasionally so many examples given to illustrate a point things got a little dense. Highly recommend. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Rachel Graham
Wonderful writer. Endlessly interesting. Also bought a copy for a friend as I don't to let mine go.Published 13 months ago by Paul Allen
Excellent detailed history of public health (or lack of it) in the modern world. She's the John Mcphee of epidemiology.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book, along with The Coming Plague by Garrett, is one of my favorites and if on a desert island....... Read morePublished on July 25, 2013 by H. Ellsworth
This was an informative read - but probably an afterthought for Ms. Garrett's book "The Coming Plague" - which I could not put down.Published on January 13, 2013 by Teresa Meehan