Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present, and Future (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780190056780

Michael B. A. Oldstone
512 Pages
140 x 210 mm
Pub date
Oct 2020
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More people were killed by smallpox during the twentieth century-over 300 million-than by all of the wars of that period combined. In 1918 and 1919, influenza virus claimed over 50 million lives. A century later, influenza is poised to return, ongoing plagues of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis infect millions, and Ebola, Zika, and West Nile viruses cause new concern and panic. The overlapping histories of humans and viruses are ancient. Earliest cities became both the cradle of civilization and breeding grounds for the first viral epidemics. This overlap is the focus of virologist/immunologist Michael Oldstone in Viruses, Plagues and History. Oldstone explains principles of viruses and epidemics while recounting stories of viruses and their impact on human history. This fully updated second edition includes engrossing new chapters on hepatitis, Zika, and contemporary threats such as the possible return of a catastrophic influenza, and the impact of fear of autism on vaccination efforts. This is a fascinating panorama of humankind's longstanding conflict with unseen viral enemies, both human successes-such as control of poliomyelitis, measles, smallpox and yellow fever, and continued dangers-such as HIV and Ebola. Impeccably researched and accessibly written, Viruses, Plagues and History will fascinate all with an interest in how viral illnesses alter the course of human history.


Part One: Viruses, Plagues, and History
Chapter 1. A General Introduction
Chapter 2. Introduction to the Principles of Virology
Chapter 3. Introduction to the Principles of Immunology
Part Two: Success Stories
Chapter 4. Smallpox
Chapter 5. Yellow Fever
Chapter 6. Measles Virus
Chapter 7. Poliomyelitis
Chapter 8. Hepatitis Viruses: Oysters, Blood Transfusions, and Cancer
Part Three: Present and Future Challenges
Chapter 9. An Overview of Newly Emerging Viral Plagues: The Hemorrhagic Fevers and A Newly Mysterious Suspect of Viral Disease, Acute Flaccid Paralysis
Chapter 10. Lassa Fever
Chapter 11. Ebola
Chapter 12. Hantavirus
Chapter 13. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS): The First Pandemic of the 21st Century, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and 2019-2020 Outbreak of 2019-nCoV
Chapter 14. West Nile Virus: Deaths of Crows and Humans
Chapter 15. Zika Comes to the Western Hemisphere and Americas: How, When, Consequences
Chapter 16. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): AIDS, the Current Plague
Chapter 17. Mad Cow Disease and Englishmen: Dementia of Humans - Prions: Folding Protein Transmissible Diseases
Chapter 18. Influenza Virus, the Plague That Will Continue to Return
Chapter 19. Apathy and Ignorance: False Prophets of Autism and the Anti-Vaccine Movement
Chapter 20. Conclusions and Future Predictions

About the author: 

Michael B. A. Oldstone is a member (Professor) at The Scripps Research Institute where he directed the Laboratory of Viral-Immunobiology. He received multiple international and national awards for the fruits of his contribution to virology and immunology and has been elected to several international and national academic societies including the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and the Scandinavian Society for Immunology. He has been a consultant to multiple institutions including the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health (USA).

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