Gregg FisherWest Nile Story presents a wealth of information to both the non-scientist and scientist. Despommier has a fast-paced writing style that puts a very human face on the scientists involved. This avoids the typically dry, clinical and off-putting style of most science books. However, he doesn't 'dumb down' the information; it is accessible to both my high school students and myself, a Ph.D. in science. If your part of the country hasn't been hit by WNV, it probably soon will be - buy this book.
Mike SmallThis is a very interesting and readable work of non-fiction. This book is important because it shows us that we humans are still connected to the natural world, we do not have total control over our environment, and that disease epidemics are likely to continue to strike us in the United States. The book itself is easy to read. The font style is simple and pleasant to read. The author�s entertaining writing style is easy to follow by lay readers. Reading this book clearly shows his (Despommier�s) superb teaching abilities and demonstrates his acute interest in how infectious agents behave. The book makes a number of excellent points and asks some good questions. New York is along way away (from Utah), but now I see all the nice new homes with fountains in their landscaping in this desert environment, I wonder, �Can it happen here?�l
Roland ScollayAn excellent description of the search for the cause of the dead birds and sick people who appeared around New York in the summer of 1999. The author covers the disease biology, the impact of weather and human behavior and the politics of public health in a witty and entertaining way. It is well worth being informed about this disease as it continues its spread across the USA. This book educates us in a way that is easily accessible to the non-expert. A most enjoyable read. Have fun with the chapter titles!
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What People are saying about this
Chris ArmeChris Arme, Editor-in-Chief Parasitology Parasitology Research Group
This is a very readable book describing a new viral infection in the New World, the West Nile Virus. It covers many aspects of the epidemic that occurred in New York City in the summer of 1999 with considerable insights into sociology, economics, biology, and parasitology, which, together, are woven into a convincing story.
W. Ian LipkinW. Ian Lipkin, MD,The Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University
Few scientists have the ability to entertain and educate the lay public. This is unfortunate, as we need an educated public to ensure continuity of support for research and an appropriate response to threats to public health. You clearly have the gift.
Roland RothRoland Roth, Professor Department of Entomology and Applied Ecology University of Delaware
West Nile Story has four main characters: humans, birds, mosquitoes, and viruses. He describes the science and drama of identifying WNV, the foreign agent, and the link among dying humans, horses, and birds. We learn about the biology and ecology of infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria and of vectors such as mosquitoes, about epidemics and the evolution of immunity, and why our native birds will be vulnerable to WNV for some time but pigeons, starlings, and house sparrows will not (also of conservation significance). His ecological perspectives for studying infectious agents and epidemics, what he terms medical ecology, is apparent. The author�s, award-winning teaching and experience relating science to laypersons shows in his easy-to-read style, which makes the science easily understood. This is a nice background source with references and without journalistic hype. West Nile Virus is here to stay; get your understanding of it here.
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