VIRUSES, PLAGUES, AND HISTORY: Past, Present and Future
by Michael B. A. Oldstone
2009, 383 pages, b/w photos & micrographs, charts. This book paints a sweeping portrait of humanity’s long-standing conflict with unseen viral enemies. It presents a vivid history of a fascinating field, and a highly reliable dispatch from an eminent researcher on the front line of this ongoing campaign.
The author begins with smallpox, polio, and measles. He then describes the fascinating viruses that have captured headlines in more recent years: Ebola, Hantavirus, mad cow disease (a frightening illness made worse by government mishandling and secrecy), and AIDS. He discusses what many scientists are watching and waiting now for the next great plague, monitoring influenza strains to see whether the deadly variant from 1918–a viral strain that killed over 20 million people in 1918-1919–will make a comeback. This revised edition includes discussions of other viruses like SARS, bird flu, virally caused cancers, chronic wasting disease, and West Nile, and fully updates the original text with new findings on particular viruses. Paperback; 5-1/2 x 8-1/4″.
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