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From The CriticsReviewer: Winnie Ooi, MD, MPH, DMD (Harvard Medical School)
Description: This is the 21st overhauled edition of Manson's classic book on tropical medicine. It is well written (the authors are primarily British, but many new authors are from other countries) and well referenced. It uses many useful pictures and algorithms in certain chapters, such as the one on sexually transmitted infections. There are new chapters on topics that are particularly relevant to the practice of medicine in the tropics including traditional medicine, genetics, economics, and ethics, subjects previously unaddressed in other tropical medicine books. The precious edition was published in 1996.
Purpose: This book strives to be a major reference covering medicine in the tropics and the new chapters have been added to keep up with the rapid acquisition of knowledge and changing practice of medicine in these countries. These are very worthy objectives in view of the many new or emerging diseases that have arisen in the period since 1996 and the advances in scientific and technologic information of many "old diseases" such as malaria. The authors come close to meeting their objectives.
Audience: The editors would like the book to be of value to physicians, scientists, nurses and paramedic personnel worldwide. For the most part this book would be most useful to physicians, residents, students, and nurses. The authors of the various chapters are established experts in their fields
Features: A comprehensive list of different tropical diseases is presented by organ system with excellent photographs and tables. Particularly well written and illustrated is the chapter on dermatological problems. The general topic of HIV/AIDS (with emphasis on Africa) presents a complete view of what is known and what needs to be urgently studied (and the difficulties in pursuing this) in this most important emerging disease in the tropics. However, at the risk of being repetitive, some of the interaction between HIV and important diseases such as malaria should have been more exhaustively covered in the specific chapters on these diseases. Although the addition of some of the chapters in the first section of the book covering underlying factors in tropical medicine is helpful, one possible important omission is a discussion of the effects of environmental factors such as air and water pollution on the health of inhabitants in the tropics. In addition topics such as viral hemorrhagic fevers, Japanese encephalitis and Nipah Virus deserve more complete coverage. One helpful feature in some chapters is the cross reference to web sites that offer more updated information especially on the prevalence of certain diseases. The appendix also tabulates many other sources of information from other books, databases, and websites.
Assessment: This book serves as an excellent reference for medical students, residents, physicians, and nurses who are learning about or practicing clinical tropical medicine. The new chapters add a practical element for practitioners in tropical countries. These additions, plus the updated information on old, new, and emerging diseases since 1996 justify replacing the previous edition. A somewhat comparable but older and more comprehensive reference book, Guerrant et als's, Tropical Infectious Diseases: Principles, Pathogens, and Practice (Churchill Livingstone,1999) would also be less up-to-date than this book.