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As the global village becomes smaller, as destruction of the rainforests continues, and as bacteria increasingly develop resistance to overused antibiotics, the threat of new diseases, of which AIDS is potentially only the first, becomes ever greater. This book explores the world of new diseases - from AIDS to Toxic Shock Syndrome, Legionnaire's Disease, Ebola (the "Hot Zone" virus) and others - and the over-crowded world we have created that makes these diseases, and their spread, possible.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140250916
ISBN-10: 0140250913
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 153mm x 42mm)
Pages: 768
Imprint: Penguin Books Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 2-May-1996
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » The miracle of antibiotics may appear to have defeated the threat to humans from infectious diseases but, argues Garrett, they are set for an exciting comeback. New and lethal viruses such as HIV have emerged while the more traditional pathogens have devised ways to become resistant to the assault of modern medicine. This is gripping - and chilling - material. Garrett's account of the sudden appearance of the Ebola virus in central Africa in the mid-1970s could have come straight from the pages of a novel by Joseph Conrad. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Garrett, Newsday and former National Public Radio reporter, has written an excellent encyclopedic history - and jeremiad - of man versus microbe in the last decades of the century. "California School Becomes Notorious for Epidemic of TB." "In a Panic, Rwandans Die in Stampede." No book about to be launched in 1994 could ask for better confirmation of its somber thesis than the front-page headlines in a recent edition of the New York Times. Only a few years ago science was celebrating an end to plagues and an extended life span, but now it appears that we are losing the battle against infectious illness. Microbes mutate as fast as companies synthesize new drugs to combat them. Jet travel, the sexual revolution, and overpopulation are just a few of the whole-earth changes that favor the survival of old and new bugs. In chapter by chilling chapter, Garrett recounts the stories of deaths from Machupo, Lassa, and Ebola diseases - viral infections decimating small villages in South America and Africa. In the best tradition of Berton Roueche, each account is a dramatic narrative with heroes and heroines: the doctors and epidemiologists who round up the usual suspects (rats, mice, bugs) to come up with answers. Modernity brings ironic twists - reused syringes, recycled air conditioning - to amplify infection. But the ultimate compounding factor is a "Thirdworldization," an ugly coinage to describe an ugly situation in which the inhabitants of poor nations are malnourished, displaced, terrorized, demoralized, e.g., Rwanda. Garrett chronicles AIDS, the spread of anti-biotic-resistant TB and malaria, Legionnaire's disease, last year's reemergence of Hanta viruses among the Navajo, along with chapters on microbial genetics and resistance. Prejudice and politics are given their due from clearly liberal Garrett, and a glimmer of a solution comes in the form of eternal vigilance and surveillance. One does not like to apply the phrase too often in a book review, but here is a volume that should be required reading for policy makers and health professionals. (Kirkus Reviews)


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