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When Germs Travel Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America and the Fears They Have Unleashed

ISBN-10: 0375726020
ISBN-13: 9780375726026
Edition: N/A
Authors: Howard Markel
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Description: The struggle against deadly microbes is endless. Diseases that have plagued human beings since ancient times still exist, new maladies like SARS make their way into the headlines, we are faced with vaccine shortages, and the threat of germ warfare  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 5/10/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.814
Language: English

The struggle against deadly microbes is endless. Diseases that have plagued human beings since ancient times still exist, new maladies like SARS make their way into the headlines, we are faced with vaccine shortages, and the threat of germ warfare has reemerged as a worldwide threat. In this riveting account, medical historian Howard Markel takes an eye-opening look at the fragility of the American public health system. He tells the distinctive stories of six epidemics–tuberculosis, bubonic plague, trachoma, typhus, cholera, and AIDS–to show how how our chief defense against diseases from other countries has been to attempt to deny entry to carriers. He explains why this approach never worked, and makes clear that it is useless in today’s world of bustling international travel and porous borders. Illuminating our foolhardy attempts at isolation and showing that globalization renders us all potential inhabitants of the so-called Hot Zone, Markel makes a compelling case for a globally funded public health program that could stop the spread of epidemics and safeguard the health of everyone on the planet.

Howard Markel is Director, Historical Center for the Health Sciences, George E. Wantz Professor of the History of Medicine, and Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan Medical School.

List of illustrations
Author's note
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Facing tuberculosis
Bubonic plague visits San Francisco's Chinatown
The rabbi with trachoma : the view from Ellis Island
Lice, typhus, and riots on the Texas-Mexico border
No one's idea of a tropical paradise : Haitian immigrants and AIDS
Sounding the cholera alarm in Detroit
Epilogue : "public health is purchasable"
Notes
Index

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