Reviewer: Mary Fines Ricardo-Dukelow, MD (Univ of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine)
Description: The six parts in this book on contagious diseases cover what lay readers need to know about germs, types of contagious diseases, self-treatment for contagious diseases, medical diagnosis and treatment, prevention, and additional information. The previous edition was published in 2004.
Purpose: The purpose of the Health Reference series is to help lay readers stay current with the most recent advances in a field.
Audience: This book is designed to provide basic medical information on contagious diseases for patients, families, caregivers, and the general public.
Features: Individual chapters are dedicated solely to one transmissible organism. Other parts of the book discuss self treatment, medical diagnosis, medical treatment, and prevention. The book is well organized and delivers a tremendous amount of information in a concise, easy to understand format. The only shortcoming is its lack of illustrations and tables that could have been used to break up the monotony of the text.
Assessment: This book is extremely useful. I have not encountered other books that present this type of information in a way that laypersons can understand. This second edition clearly has a different format and is better organized than its predecessor. It also covers more topics including self-treatment and complementary alternative medicine.