Tracking Contagions, From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond

Book - 2016 | First edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Scientists agree that a pathogen is likely to cause a global pandemic in the near future. But which one? And how? Over the past fifty years, more than three hundred infectious diseases have either newly emerged or reemerged. Ninety percent of epidemiologists expect that one of them will cause a deadly pandemic sometime in the next two generations. It could be Ebola, avian flu, a drug-resistant superbug, or something completely new. While we can't know which pathogen will cause the next pandemic, by unraveling the story of how pathogens have caused pandemics in the past, we can make predictions about the future. Here, prizewinning science journalist Sonia Shah interweaves history, original reportage, and personal narrative to explore the origins of contagions, drawing parallels between cholera, one of history's most deadly and disruptive pandemic-causing pathogens, and the new diseases that stalk humankind today. To reveal how a new pandemic might develop, Shah tracks each stage of cholera's dramatic journey, from its emergence in the South Asian hinterlands as a harmless microbe to its rapid dispersal across the nineteenth-century world, all the way to its latest beachhead in Haiti. Along the way she reports on the pathogens now following in cholera's footsteps, from the MRSA bacterium that besieges her own family to the never-before-seen killers coming out of China's wet markets, the surgical wards of New Delhi, and the suburban backyards of the East Coast. By delving into the convoluted science, strange politics, and checkered history of one of the world's deadliest diseases, Pandemic reveals what the next global contagion might look like--and what we can do to prevent it.--Adapted from dust jacket.
"Interweaving history, original reportage, and personal narrative, Pandemic explores the origins of epidemics, drawing parallels between the story of cholera-- one of history's most disruptive and deadly pathogens-- and the new pathogens that stalk humankind today"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux , 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374122881
Branch Call Number: 362.1 SHAH
Characteristics: viii, 271 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 05, 2016

30-starred science and topical reading!

Always re-amazed by this brilliant author, Ms. Sonia Shah, who appears to vacuum up all existing information, data, facts, et cetera, on a subject then organizes into the most cogent and lucid form conceivable to convey to muddling people like myself, who are eternally grateful for all her work and intelligence. Fantastic read!
Interesting to learn that the major donor to WHO is the Gates Foundation, and anyone who disagrees with them at WHO finds themselves looking for another job! No input allowed there!
[And would STRONGLY recommend it to Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation before they finance any further releases of genetically modified mosquitoes - - which were COINCIDENTALLY released 1 to 2 years prior to Zika explosions at the same locations by their Oxitec firm they used to finance! Wonder why the United Nations' WHO never mentions this? Oh yeah, their single largest private donor: the Gates Foundation.]


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PACL

To Top