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Microbe: Are We Ready for the Next Plague?

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2005 Hardcover New in Fine jacket

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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

From the Publisher

“… covers ground with clarity… enjoyable to read… an excellent primer for anyone seeking to understand the threat of microbial outbreaks.”

-Care Management Journals

“[Microbe] covers a great deal of ground with a great deal of clarity on a timely topic….it is enjoyable to read, due in part to the sense of suspense and excitement of responding to dramatic outbreaks of disease that is conveyed to the reader….Microbe would serve as an excellent primer for anyone seeking to understand the threat of microbial outbreaks, both natural and man-made, and the range of responses being employed to defend against them.”

-Care Management Journals

Journal of Chemical Education
"....by a risk analysis expert and physician. Both flavors are present in the book, nicely melded into a flowing story."
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"
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."
Science Books & Film
"[A] timely and informative book...authoritatively written and the information conveyed is reliable."
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."
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
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."
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."
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: 9780814408650
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.14 (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

Introduction

Chapter 1: The Birds That Fell From the Sky -- West Nile Virus

Chapter 2: A Corona of Death -- SARS

Chapter 3: The Arroyo Muerte -- Sin Nombre Hantavirus

Chapter 4: Outbreaks, Reservoirs and Dead End Hosts

Chapter 5: Shards of Glass in the Brain -- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow)

Chapter 6: Out of the Shadows -- Legionella Pneumophila (Legionnaire’s Disease)

Chapter 7: An Ill Wind -- Smallpox

Chapter 8: Natural Born Killers --Why Some Germs Stay Bad

Chapter 9: Something in the Water - Cholera, Cryptosporidiosis

Chapter 10: When Hours Count - but Days Don't Matter - Anthrax

Chapter 11 Pronouncing the Patient CURED

Chapter 12: Project BIOWATCH - Plague Vials Vanish in Texas

Chapter 13: A New Weapon in the Fight

Chapter 14: Gold Nuggets and Influenza Vaccines -- DNA-based vaccines

Chapter 15: Three Ounces of Prevention -- Scenarios involving Avian Bird Flu, Bioterrorism using Smallpox

Chapter 16: Into a Crystal Ball, Darkly...

Appendix A: Glossary

Appendix B: Letter to Lev Sandhakchiev"

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2005

    A must read for people interested in the role of public health in the modern era of unusual infectious diase

    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'. They conclude with straightforward recommendations for future actions. The authors do a nice job explaining the nuances of prions and DNA vaccine and make a compelling case for strengthening the relationships between the public health, human and animal medical communities. The authors provide brief insights into several recent failures of the public health to detect and contain emerging infectious diseases before they became integrated into the nation's eco-systems. In recounting outbreaks of West Nile virus, cryptosporidium and bovine spongiform encephalopathy they raise a series of 'what if' questions that should stimulate the reader to further readings. The story of the Aralesk smallpox outbreak is in itself worth the price of the read. That relatively unknown smallpox outbreak caused by Soviet live agent testing, for once and for all, lays to rest some of the myths about the Soviets work to weaponize smallpox. The book contains two illustrative bioterrorist scenarios, each of which is plausible and frighteningly realistic, and which by themselves make a compelling case for the nation's public health community to rapidly move to adopt a system of syndrome based disease surveillance. It is those recurring discussions about the utility of syndrome-based surveillance that ultimately embody the book's central message. 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. This book clearly illustrates the need for the nation to implement an emerging infectious diseases warning system that is syndrome-based rather than the one based on disease reporting. Hopefully, the public policy community as well as public health and clinical communities will read this book and act on its recommendations. William D. Stanhope Associate Director, Special Projects Institute for Biosecurity School of Public Health Saint Louis University

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