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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Laura L. Hungerford, DVM, PhD (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This book is really two books in one. The first half is a useful textbook covering history, definitions, and methods for the recognition, control, and prevention of zoonotic diseases. The second half contains 131 synopses of zoonotic infections and provides an update to the 1981 Outline of the Zoonoses by Schnurrenberger and Hubbert.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide "an all-encompassing, concise, desktop reference" to zoonoses for practicing veterinarians. Identifying zoonoses and educating clients is critical in veterinary practice and information on this topic is vital to practitioners. However, other references better meet this objective, particularly Zoonoses and Communicable Diseases Common to Man and Animals by Ache and Szyfres.
Audience: The audience is "veterinarians...physicians, nurses, public health officials, wildlife workers." Although the authors are knowledgeable experts on zoonoses, a more appropriate audience would be students in zoonotic or infectious disease epidemiology courses. The synopses are accurate, but limited by their brevity.
Features: The book's appearance is appealing. The table of contents and index make it easy to use. There are few figures in the book, but those present illustrate salient points. The first half is extensively referenced using a variety of sources, especially some otherwise difficult to access. A shortcoming is the lack of references for the synopses.
Assessment: The narrative section is well written, readable, up-to-date, and covers important concepts in epidemiology and economics related to infectious diseases. It would be thought-provoking for students with the synopses augmenting the philosophical/methodological orientation of the first section. The authors use excellent examples, drawn from both developing and developed countries, which amplify concepts in the text. The economics and risk assessment sections are very good and present material not well summarized in other texts. Libraries and bookstores at universities with medical or veterinary colleges should find this book of interest to their clientele.