Microbe: Are We Ready for the Next Plague?

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"As the human population explodes and globalization continues, diseases can spread from one country to another as fast as an airplane can fly. Whether a virus is unintentionally released via our modern transportation system, or deliberately by terrorists, even a small scale biological "event" could have a profound effect on our society. Yet our current public health system is completely unprepared to detect and respond quickly enough to avert a disease-related crisis.

Microbe does more than detail the threats ...

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Overview

"As the human population explodes and globalization continues, diseases can spread from one country to another as fast as an airplane can fly. Whether a virus is unintentionally released via our modern transportation system, or deliberately by terrorists, even a small scale biological "event" could have a profound effect on our society. Yet our current public health system is completely unprepared to detect and respond quickly enough to avert a disease-related crisis.

Microbe does more than detail the threats that face us today. Containing riveting accounts of barely averted catastrophes (including outbreaks of West Nile virus, SARS, and hantavirus), the book examines the disjointed, ineffective system we all rely upon to keep us alive and healthy. More important, the book presents a solution to stop outbreaks and minimize the impact of an epidemic.

Illustrated with two hypothetical stories (an outbreak of bird flu in Southern California and a bioterrorism attack in Denver) Microbe looks at the potential effects of health disasters — and offers practical steps to stop them in their tracks."

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Editorial Reviews

Albuquerque Sunday Journal
"...the book is certainly valuable in making us aware of the problems in recognizing and reacting quickly to disease outbreaks, and to get us all thinking about possible solutions."
BioSecurity Newsletter
"This thought provoking book is a must read for anyone with concerns about or responsibility for early detection and containment of either emerging infectious diseases or the management of an epidemic caused by bioterrorism. In this delightfully pithy volume, the authors manage to interweave the recounting of past public health system failures with some good introductory science and some important insights into the ‘clinical thought process’....The clarity with which the authors discuss the strengths and weakness of the nation's current disease detection efforts and their shortfalls is refreshing and raises important policy issues."
Center for Disease Control
"Microbe: Are We Ready for the Next Plague? by Alan Zelicoff and Michael Bellomo is a comprehensive, yet succinct, account of the threat to public health posed by microbial pathogens. What distinguishes this book from the surfeit of recent books hyping the threat of bioterrorism are its balanced perspective and elucidation of naturally emerging disease threats, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or West Nile virus, as exotic entities requiring a rapid and effective response; Mother Nature is quite the bioterrorist herself... This book is the best of its genre and is recommended for anyone interested in understanding and managing the risks associated with emerging microbial threats."
Emerging Infectious Diseases
"...a comprehensive, yet succinct, account of the threat to public health posed by microbial pathogens. What distinguishes this book from the surfeit of recent books hyping the threat of bioterrorism are its balanced perspective and elucidation of naturally emerging disease threats, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or West Nile virus, as exotic entities requiring a rapid and effective response; Mother Nature is quite the bioterrorist herself...This book is the best of its genre and is recommended for anyone interested in understanding and managing the risks associated with emerging microbial threats."
Journal of Chemical Education
"....by a risk analysis expert and physician. Both flavors are present in the book, nicely melded into a flowing story."
Science Books & Film
"[A] timely and informative book...authoritatively written and the information conveyed is reliable."
Sunday News Herald
"Together, they've written an intelligent, fast-moving and provacative book that is good reading for anyone who is not afraid to see the publice health challenges we all face." Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Southgate Michigan
The Baltimore Sun
"The authors do an excellent job of pointing out the failings of a ‘highly balkanized’ public health surveillance system in the United States...a great primer on the debate about whether the U.S. is ready for a pandemic."
The Futurist
"Microbe will empower readers with that most essential of defenses-knowledge"
The News Herald
"...they’ve [the authors] written an intelligent, fast-moving and provocative book that is good reading for anyone who is not afraid to see the public health challenges we all face."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567318241
  • Publisher: MJF Books
  • Publication date: 11/30/2006
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

"Alan P. Zelicoff, M.D. (Albuquerque, NM) is a physician, physicist, and senior scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, an engineering and science lab operated by Sandia Corporation for the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. The inventor of the Syndrome Reporting Information System for the rapid dissemination of disease information, he has written for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Michael Bellomo (Burlingame, CA) holds a Six Sigma Black Belt certification and has worked for the Ares Corporation, a project and risk management firm that works with the Department of Defense, NASA, and the Department of Energy."

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Ch. 1 The birds that fell from the sky - West Nile virus 1
Ch. 2 Corona of death - SARS 21
Ch. 3 Arroyo Muerte - Sin Nombre Hantavirus 37
Ch. 4 Outbreaks, reservoirs, and dead end hosts 57
Ch. 5 Shards of glass in the brain - bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow) 69
Ch. 6 Out of the shadows - Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaire's disease) 83
Ch. 7 An ill wind - smallpox 96
Ch. 8 Natural born killers - why some germs stay bad 115
Ch. 9 Something in the water - cholera, cryptosporidiosis 124
Ch. 10 When hours count - but days don't matter - anthrax 137
Ch. 11 Healer, heal thyself : curing what ails the public health system 161
Ch. 12 Project BIOWATCH - plague vials vanish in Texas 172
Ch. 13 A new weapon in the fight 189
Ch. 14 DNA-based vaccines 204
Ch. 15 Three ounces of prevention - scenarios involving avian bird flu, bioterrorism using smallpox 218
Ch. 16 Into a crystal ball, darkly - a look at the future 237
App Letter by e-mail to Lev Sandakchiev 247
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