The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It

The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It

by Jonathan D. Quick, Bronwyn Fryer
The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It

The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It

by Jonathan D. Quick, Bronwyn Fryer


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“Jonathan Quick offers a compelling and intensely readable plan to prevent worldwide infectious outbreaks. The End of Epidemics is essential reading for those who might be affected by a future pandemic—that is, just about everyone.”—Sandeep Jauhar, bestselling author of Heart: A History

The 2020 outbreak of coronavirus has terrified the world—and revealed how unprepared we are for the next outbreak of an infectious disease. Somewhere in nature, a killer virus is boiling up in the bloodstream of a bird, bat, monkey, or pig, preparing to jump to a human being. This not-yet-detected germ has the potential to wipe out millions of lives over a matter of weeks or months. That risk makes the threat posed by ISIS, a ground war, a massive climate event, or even the dropping of a nuclear bomb on a major city pale in comparison.

In The End of Epidemics, Duke Global Health Institute faculty member and past Chair of the Global Health Council Dr. Jonathan D. Quick examines the eradication of smallpox and devastating effects of influenza, AIDS, SARS, Ebola, and other viral diseases . Analyzing local and global efforts to contain these diseases and citing firsthand accounts of failure and success, Dr. Quick proposes a new set of actions which he has coined "The Power of Seven," to end epidemics before they can begin. These actions include:

- Spending prudently to prevent disease before an epidemic strikes, rather than spending too little, too late
- Ensuring prompt, open, and accurate communication between nations and aid agencies, instead of secrecy and territorial disputes
- Fighting disease and preventing panic with innovation and good science

Practical and urgent, The End of Epidemics is crucial reading for citizens, health professionals, and policy makers alike.

“Dr. Quick’s urgent message makes one hope that this book will reach a huge audience and that its exhortations will be acted on everywhere.”—The Wall Street Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250117779
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/30/2018
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

DR. JONATHAN D. QUICK is Senior Fellow and former president and CEO at Management Sciences for Health in Boston. He is an instructor of medicine at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chair of the Global Health Council. He has worked in more than seventy countries. He lives in Massachusetts.

BRONWYN FRYER is a collaborative writer and a former senior editor for the Harvard Business Review. She lives in Montpelier, Vermont.

Table of Contents

Acronyms xi

Prologue: A Fear I'd Never Felt Before 1

What can be done to stop the next killer virus from destroying millions of lives?

Part I The Pandemic Threat

1 Stop Epidemics with The Power of Seven 9

We can end epidemics with seven sets of concrete actions proven over a century of epidemic response.

2 The Bush-Lessons from Ebola, AIDS, and Zika 25

How deforestation, climate change, and population movement are turning wildlife into pandemic incubators.

3 The Barn 42

Our global animal food industry and the renegade influenza viruses it spawns could one day annihilate the people it feeds.

4 The Triple Threat: Bioterror, Bio-Error, and Dr. Frankenstein 57

The threat of an epidemic unleashed by terrorists, lab errors, or irresponsible scientists has never been greater.

5 The Costs of Complacency 78

In addition to millions of deaths worldwide, we could face global recession and massive social upheaval.

Part II Stopping Pandemics Before they Start

6 Lead Like the House Is on Fire 95

When leaders work with urgency, decisiveness, and courage, they can defeat the deadliest viral enemies.

7 Resilient Systems, Global Security 111

Strong national public-health systems and robust international agencies can ensure health security for all.

8 Active Prevention, Constant Readiness 129

Vaccines, mosquito control, and other preventive measures will stop killer diseases before they spread. Constant readiness to respond will save lives.

9 Fatal Fictions, Timely Truths 149

Trustworthy communications, close listening, and local engagement are the best weapons for fighting disease and quelling rumors, blame, distrust, and panic.

10 Disruptive Innovation, Collaborative Transformation 174

Breakthrough innovations bring new tools for preventing, controlling, and eliminating infectious-disease threats.

11 Invest Wisely, Save Lives 194

The equivalent of just $1 per year for every person on the planet ($7.5 billion annually) will save lives and pay for itself in lower emergency costs and reduced economic disruption.

12 Ring the Alarm, Rouse the Leaders 212

Citizen activists and social movements must mobilize the public and hold leaders' feet to the fire.

Epilogue: Headlines from the Future 229

The threat is imminent The pathway is known. The time for action is now.

Acknowledgments 237

Notes 241

Index 275

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