The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance Paperback – 2 May 1996
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Where's your next disease coming from? From anywhere in the world--from overflowing sewage in Cairo, from a war zone in Rwanda, from an energy-efficient office building in California, from a pig farm in China or North Carolina. "Preparedness demands understanding" writes Pulitzer-winning journalist Laurie Garrett, and in this precursor to Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health she shows true understanding of the patterns lying beneath the new diseases in the headlines (AIDS, Lyme) and the old ones resurgent (tuberculosis, cholera). As the human population explodes, ecologies collapse and simplify, and disease organisms move into the gaps. As globalisation continues, diseases can move from one country to another as fast as an aeroplane can fly.
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 disease amplifiers is within our power, a matter of money, people and will. --Mary Ellen Curtin
About the Author
Laurie Garrett wrote her first bestselling book, THE COMING PLAGUE: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance, while splitting her time between the Harvard School of Public Health and the New York newspaper, Newsday. In the 1992-93 academic years Garrett was a Fellow at Harvard, where she worked closely with the emerging diseases group, a collection of faculty concerned about the surge in epidemics of previously unknown or rare viruses and bacteria. The book was published in hardcopy by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 1994.
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Top Customer Reviews
I had to buy this copy because of my original thoughts on the book just would not go away, scary stuff, true stuff all written by noted experts in the various fields. It debunks myths, finds reasons, symptoms, cures or not, all packed in here..... can you tell me anything about Avian Flu, Ebola, Lhassa Fever, HIV and so on, this book will tell you and more, much more... !!
Written in 1994, the book is simultaneously chillingly prophetic and current. The first time I read it I was living in Central America and that first reading, I firmly believe, saved my life when a year later I contracted Dengue Fever from a mosquito bite. Because of what I read in The Coming Plague, when I became unwell (during a visit to the US from where I lived at the time in Guatemala) I had an idea of what was wrong and was able to insist to the ER staff that they telephone the CDC for assistance.
Owing to that made telephone call the hospital knew to use the St Louis Encephalitis test, the only test for Dengue at the time (a positive+travel history=diagnosis and led to proper treatment). I was given the best treatment available for the time because they knew what I had, and my bout with Dengue progressed only to the second stage.
Since that first reading I've read this book three more times and plan to re-read this copy beginning this evening. It's not an easy book to read - every time I do, I have to take it in bites, one chapter (or half chapter) then a few days to get over the horror induced. The book examines what were then (and in some cases, now) newly emerging virulent diseases that are moving from 'Third World' to 'First' using case studies of outbreaks including outbreaks which occurred in the US (Hantaviruses, Legionnaires and Swine Flu in 1974-76), and concludes with a look at solutions including preparedness and surveillance.
All in, this book is can't miss reading for anyone interested in current affairs - many of the Third World emerging diseases are a consequence of geo-politics and the author doesn't shirk the responsibility to discuss these factors.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Highly recommend that this is read by everyone - it really is a good insight into the dangers that this microscopic world can have upon the human race!Published 13 months ago by tallan
Rating first: Four and a half would have been a better rating, I don't love it, but certainly more that just 'like it'. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Big Red
A little hard going at times, but the real life drama of facing new infectious pathogens in the world is gripping.Published 23 months ago by Eoghan de Barra
I purchased the book after reading reviews and highly recommend it to others interested in this field. Read morePublished on 3 May 2013 by SandyMcW
Pleased with this purchase, good second hand quality as described and arrived in expected time. The book itself is very detailed and absorbing, it has a lot of scientific... Read morePublished on 23 Nov. 2012 by A. Owen
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