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The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance Reprint Edition
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While the human race battles itself ... the advantage moves to the microbes' court. They are our predators and they will be victorious if we, Homo sapiens, do not learn how to live in a rational global village that affords the microbes few opportunities.
Her picture is not entirely bleak. Epidemics grow when a disease outbreak is amplified--by contaminated water supplies, by shared needles, by recirculated air, by prostitution. And controlling the amplifiers of disease is within our power; it's a matter of money, people, and will. --Mary Ellen Curtin
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Laurie Garrett has done a masterful job of chronicling the spread of infectious diseases over the last 50 years. The book is divided into sections that give the history of the rise (and in one or two cases- the fall) of the major pandemics of this century. The chapter on AIDS is worth the price of the book alone and should be required reading for political science students. It's the perfect case study on how apathy, intolerance, ignorance and political infighting foster the spread of infectious diseases.
The underlying message of The Coming Plague is that we are at war with oodles and oodles of really small things whose survival instincts are much better than ours. In short- we're losing! These pernicious little buggers seem to be able to adapt much quicker than we can find new ways to kill them.
The Coming Plague reads like a detective story. And Garrett does a fine job of making it human and personal by giving us a peek into the lives of the scientists who are heading up the fight to solve the mysteries -and the victims who suffer from them.
Ms Garrett's highly detailed and exhaustively documented thesis, written while on a graduate fellowship at Harvard, is both frightening and hard to ignore. She posits that through our environmental arrogance and stupidity, the general medical strategies of the western societies, and our consistent overuse of antibiotics, we are quickly losing the continuing fight to keep the general public of both the postindustrial nations and the less developed world safe from the wild panoply of microbiological agents that are out there in the environment, and we are, through our encroachment on wilderness areas never before populated by humans, unnecessarily introducing segments of the population to new microbiological agents who then find a vector or path into human habitation and resultant infection.Read more ›
Even if you live in the middle of the Canadian tundra and have sworn off eating mollusks for the rest of your life, this book hammers home the fact that you're still not safe from what used to be called 'Third World diseases'. Even as I write this review, there is a woman in an isolation chamber of a hospital in Hampton, Ontario who is gravely ill with an unknown hemorrhagic fever. The doctors don't think its Ebola Fever, but they're not sure what it is, or whether any of the other passengers on the plane from Nigeria to Canada could also have been infected.
You can conclude (as I did) from "The Coming Plague" that many of us who expected to die from age-related conditions such as heart failure or cancer, may now well perish from infection. This book manages to combine the heroics of "Men against Death", the grim prophecy of "Silent Spring", and descriptions of several hair-raising, near-tragedies akin to the "Hot Zone". I highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although incredibly well researched, it's a bit outdated by now. The book could have easily been 1/4 of its size, as it is liberally infused with minutiae regarding every single... Read morePublished 22 days ago by W.U.
When I started my journey as an 18 year old, fresh into the world of college, I had no idea what I wanted to do aside from something medically related. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
I'm still reading it...taking a break right now. It's pretty technical for me but it goes through the various diseases, how they were isolated and treated. Informative.... Read morePublished 1 month ago by John D. Paden
Not only is this an entertaining book, it is a rich account of important historical events. This shouldn't be the only book on infectious diseases epi/emerging... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael Scolarici
This is a long book. It's pretty well written, but the main point sometimes is lost in the details. There are lots of quotable statistics, but they are packed into each chapter. Read morePublished 1 month ago by WGE G'Dad
A classic of epidemiology, cataloging the various parasites, bacteria, and viruses that have been unleashed upon humanity by humanity's own invasion of the biosphere. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Yates
I read this book when I was studying for a Public Health degree. It was still newish at the time, but even now I think it still has a lot of great information. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ly G