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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Deadly Diseases

            No matter how many medical breakthroughs occur every day, humans still are threatened by new and mutating diseases with the ability to turn into epidemics. Here are some new books on this topic.
            Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them is written by Jennifer Wright. Filled with details of the world’s worst diseases over time. Learn about experiences with the Bubonic plague, dancing plague, smallpox, syphilis, cholera, leprosy, and more, and the people who worked toward the abatement and/or cure of the diseases. This is a very informative book with a sprinkling of humorous anecdotes.
            Deadliest Enemy: Our War against Killer Germs is written by Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, and Mark Olshaker, an author of several books about public health. Using the most current medical science, case studies, and policy research, they describe how such diseases as Ebola, MERS, yellow fever, and Zika threaten to overwhelm world health at large. Our overuse of antibiotics and rapid worldwide travel also are contributing factors to the spread of disease. After explaining all of these possible threats, Dr. Osterholm presents a plan of action for prevention.
            Zika: The Emerging Epidemic is written by Donald G. McNeil Jr., a science reporter for the New York Times. He traces the history of the Zika virus, which began as a minor disease but then by 2015 exploded as a major player in Brazil where pregnant women infected by the disease gave birth to babies with microcephaly. Contracted through mosquito bites and sexual transmission, Zika has the potential to infect people worldwide. The author offers information on the history of the disease, methods of prevention, and the work being done to develop a vaccine.

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