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Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections

by

Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

So you think modern medicine has the whole virus game figured out? Think again. And it?s not even a question of "if" we?ll be hit by some new and deadly disease — it?s "when."

The war on germs is being fought on many fronts — from the skirmishes with disease-carrying mosquitoes that cross oceans hidden away in airline wheel wells to the high-profile battle against terrorists wielding deadly bioweapons. Today?s bold headlines would have us believe that the biggest threat comes from bioterrorism. But don?t underestimate Mother Nature, perhaps the most savage bioterrorist of all. Assisted by the increasing ease with which people — and the germs they carry — move across international borders, she?s an effective force to be reckoned with, a key player on this battlefield. As author Madeline Drexler makes clear, we?d do best not to ignore her.

Human beings and the pathogens that attack them are crossing paths more and more frequently, particularly as modern life grows increasingly complex. Whatever the infectious agent may be, whether it?s pandemic flu, foodborne illness, a debilitating disease carried far and wide by biting insects, or some new microbial horror we have yet to detect, keen surveillance and rapid response are really the only weapons in our arsenal.

Secret Agents looks at today?s new and emerging infections — those that have increased in attack rate or geographic range, or threaten to do so — and tells the stories of scientists racing to catch up with invisible adversaries superior in both speed and guile. Each chapter focuses on a different threat: foodborne pathogens, antibiotic resistance, animals and insectborne diseases, pandemic influenza, infectious causes of chronic disease, and bioterrorism, including the latest information on the public health threats posed by anthrax and diseases such as smallpox.

Based in part on material collected from the Forum on Emerging Infections hosted by the Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C., Secret Agents is ultimately as engaging as it is disturbing. Drexler?s thorough survey of the field of infectious disease, supplemented by extensive interviews with today?s top researchers, yields a compelling portrait of a world engaged in a clandestine war.

Emerging infections are among the many secret ties that bind the world into an organic whole. We know that infectious disease is an inescapable part of life, but we need to begin thinking globally and acting locally if we are to avoid the menace of a catastrophic outbreak of some new plague. Secret Agents sounds a clear and compelling call to take up arms against the organic predators among us.

Review:

"...an authoritative, well-paced, vividly written book that will scare the pants off you. It's so up-to-date it includes even the recent anthrax attacks...All in all, Drexler has produced a fascinating book that everyone (except perhaps serious hypochondriacs) ought to read." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"In a volume written for the educated layman, Drexler does an admirable job of explaining the threats from our food supply, the overuse of antibiotics, exotic viruses such as Ebola, the woeful state of the world's public-health systems and bioterrorism....Drexler is a clear and concise writer who avoids sensationalism despite the nature of the subject. She is particularly good at drawing little portraits of the book's heroes, the scientists and medical workers who track and battle the new diseases." Cleveland Plain-Dealer

Review:

"Like a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, Secret Agents is a panorama teeming with miniatures that make the blood run cold. An authoritative book for an anxious age." Patricia Thomas, author of Big Shot: Passion, Politics, and the Struggle for an AIDS Vaccine

Review:

"Secret Agents skillfully captures the frontline experience in the battle between humans and deadly, ever-changing microbes. This book is hard to put down." Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., co-author of Living Terrors

Book News Annotation:

Admitting that in fact there is no distinction between national and global threats from infectious agents, Boston-based medical journalist Drexler nevertheless focuses on the US to provide a local view of a universal and authentic peril. Her perspectives include winged victories, superbugs, the once and future pandemic, and bioterror.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The war on germs is being fought on many fronts — from the skirmishes with disease-carrying mosquitoes to the high-profile battle against terrorists. Indeed, today's bold headlines would have us believe that the biggest threat comes from bioterrorism. But don't underestimate Mother Nature, perhaps the most savage bioterrorist of all. Author Madeline Drexler makes it clear that we'd best not ignore her.

As modern life grows increasingly complex, human beings and the pathogens that attack them are crossing paths more and more frequently. Whatever the infectious agent may be, whether it is pandemic flu, foodborne illness, a debilitating disease carried far and wide by biting insects, or some new microbial horror we have yet to detect, keen surveillance and rapid response are really the only weapons in our arsenal.

Secret Agents looks at today's new and emerging infections and tells the stories of scientists racing to catch up with invisible adversaries superior in both speed and guile. Each chapter looks at a different threat: foodborne pathogens, antibiotic resistance, animal- and insectborne diseases, pandemic influenza, infectious causes of chronic disease, and bioterrorism, including the latest information on the public health threats posed by anthrax and diseases like smallpox.

Emerging infections are among the many secret ties that bind the world into an organic whole. We know that infectious disease is an inescapable part of life. But we need to begin thinking globally and acting locally if we are to avoid the menace of a catastrophic outbreak of some new plague. Secret Agents sounds a clear and compelling call to take up arms against the organic predators among us.

About the Author

A must read. Drexler's chapters read like dispatches from a war. (The Baltimore Sun)

Table of Contents

  1. Disease in disguise
  2. Winged victories
  3. Food fright
  4. Superbugs
  5. Once and future pandemic
  6. Infection unmasked
  7. Bioterror
  8. Think locally, act globally.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780309076388
Author:
Drexler, Madeline
Publisher:
National Academy Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Epidemiology
Subject:
Communicable diseases
Subject:
Infectious Diseases
Subject:
Diseases - Contagious
Subject:
Life Sciences - Biology - Microbiology
Subject:
Life Sciences - Bacteriology
Subject:
Communicable diseases -- United States.
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Medical Specialties
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
107-14
Publication Date:
20020131
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
316
Dimensions:
6 x 9 in.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Animal Husbandry
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Microbiology
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Viruses

Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 316 pages National Academies Press - English 9780309076388 Reviews:
"Review" by , "...an authoritative, well-paced, vividly written book that will scare the pants off you. It's so up-to-date it includes even the recent anthrax attacks...All in all, Drexler has produced a fascinating book that everyone (except perhaps serious hypochondriacs) ought to read."
"Review" by , "In a volume written for the educated layman, Drexler does an admirable job of explaining the threats from our food supply, the overuse of antibiotics, exotic viruses such as Ebola, the woeful state of the world's public-health systems and bioterrorism....Drexler is a clear and concise writer who avoids sensationalism despite the nature of the subject. She is particularly good at drawing little portraits of the book's heroes, the scientists and medical workers who track and battle the new diseases."
"Review" by , "Like a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, Secret Agents is a panorama teeming with miniatures that make the blood run cold. An authoritative book for an anxious age."
"Review" by , "Secret Agents skillfully captures the frontline experience in the battle between humans and deadly, ever-changing microbes. This book is hard to put down."
"Synopsis" by , The war on germs is being fought on many fronts — from the skirmishes with disease-carrying mosquitoes to the high-profile battle against terrorists. Indeed, today's bold headlines would have us believe that the biggest threat comes from bioterrorism. But don't underestimate Mother Nature, perhaps the most savage bioterrorist of all. Author Madeline Drexler makes it clear that we'd best not ignore her.

As modern life grows increasingly complex, human beings and the pathogens that attack them are crossing paths more and more frequently. Whatever the infectious agent may be, whether it is pandemic flu, foodborne illness, a debilitating disease carried far and wide by biting insects, or some new microbial horror we have yet to detect, keen surveillance and rapid response are really the only weapons in our arsenal.

Secret Agents looks at today's new and emerging infections and tells the stories of scientists racing to catch up with invisible adversaries superior in both speed and guile. Each chapter looks at a different threat: foodborne pathogens, antibiotic resistance, animal- and insectborne diseases, pandemic influenza, infectious causes of chronic disease, and bioterrorism, including the latest information on the public health threats posed by anthrax and diseases like smallpox.

Emerging infections are among the many secret ties that bind the world into an organic whole. We know that infectious disease is an inescapable part of life. But we need to begin thinking globally and acting locally if we are to avoid the menace of a catastrophic outbreak of some new plague. Secret Agents sounds a clear and compelling call to take up arms against the organic predators among us.

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