A leading epidemiologist shares his "powerful and necessary" stories from the front lines of our war on infectious diseases and explains how to prepare for global epidemics (Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone).
Unlike natural disasters, whose destruction is concentrated in a limited area over a period of days, and illnesses, which have devastating effects but are limited to individuals and their families, infectious disease has the terrifying power to disrupt everyday life on a global scale, overwhelming public and private resources and bringing trade and transportation to a grinding halt.
In today's world, it's easier than ever to move people, animals, and materials around the planet, but the same advances that make modern infrastructure so efficient have made epidemics and even pandemics nearly inevitable. And as outbreaks of COVID-19, Ebola, MERS, and Zika have demonstrated, we are woefully underprepared to deal with the fallout. So what can -- and must -- we do in order to protect ourselves from mankind's deadliest enemy?
Drawing on the latest medical science, case studies, policy research, and hard-earned epidemiological lessons, Deadliest Enemy explores the resources and programs we need to develop if we are to keep ourselves safe from infectious disease. The authors show how we could wake up to a reality in which many antibiotics no longer cure, bioterror is a certainty, and the threat of a disastrous influenza or coronavirus pandemic looms ever larger. Only by understanding the challenges we face can we prevent the unthinkable from becoming the inevitable.
Deadliest Enemy is high scientific drama, a chronicle of medical mystery and discovery, a reality check, and a practical plan of action.
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As a former governor responsible for the welfare and health of my state, and a former United States Senator concerned with national security, I applaud Deadliest Enemy as a chilling and important wakeup call. Not only is it a fascinating human story and medical detective drama, it lays out the great public health challenges facing humanity and the actions that need to be initiated or enhanced to avert their life or death consequences.
Bob Graham, former Governor of Florida, U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee