Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs

Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs

by Michael T. Osterholm PhD, MPH, Mark Olshaker

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A leading epidemiologist shares his "powerful and necessary" stories from the front lines of our war on infectious diseases and explains how to prepare for global epidemics (Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone).

Unlike natural disasters, whose destruction is concentrated in a limited area over a period of days, and illnesses, which have devastating effects but are limited to individuals and their families, infectious disease has the terrifying power to disrupt everyday life on a global scale, overwhelming public and private resources and bringing trade and transportation to a grinding halt.

In today's world, it's easier than ever to move people, animals, and materials around the planet, but the same advances that make modern infrastructure so efficient have made epidemics and even pandemics nearly inevitable. And as outbreaks of COVID-19, Ebola, MERS, and Zika have demonstrated, we are woefully underprepared to deal with the fallout. So what can — and must — we do in order to protect ourselves from mankind's deadliest enemy?

Drawing on the latest medical science, case studies, policy research, and hard-earned epidemiological lessons, Deadliest Enemy explores the resources and programs we need to develop if we are to keep ourselves safe from infectious disease. The authors show how we could wake up to a reality in which many antibiotics no longer cure, bioterror is a certainty, and the threat of a disastrous influenza or coronavirus pandemic looms ever larger. Only by understanding the challenges we face can we prevent the unthinkable from becoming the inevitable.

Deadliest Enemy is high scientific drama, a chronicle of medical mystery and discovery, a reality check, and a practical plan of action.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316343695
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 03/14/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 5,517
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Dr. Michael Osterholm is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, and the founding director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. An internationally renowned epidemiologist, he has been at the forefront of public health preparedness, has led many outbreak investigations of international importance, and advises world leaders on the ever-growing list of microbial threats.

Mark Olshaker is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and a New York Times #1 bestselling author of five novels and ten books of nonfiction. His books with FBI profiling pioneer John Douglas have sold millions of copies and offer a unique and intriguing perspective into behavioral science and criminal investigative analysis.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

Chapter 1 Black Swans and Red Alerts 7

Chapter 2 Annals of Public Health 21

Chapter 3 White Coats and Worn Shoes 30

Chapter 4 The Threat Matrix 49

Chapter 5 The Natural History of Germs 57

Chapter 6 The New World Order 64

Chapter 7 Means of Transmission: Bats, Bugs, Lungs, and Penises 72

Chapter 8 Vaccines: The Sharpest Arrow in Our Quiver 80

Chapter 9 Malaria, AIDS, and TB: Lest We Forget 98

Chapter 10 Gain of Function and Dual Use: The Frankenstein Scenario 111

Chapter 11 Bioterror: Opening Pandora's Box 125

Chapter 12 Ebola: Out of Africa 144

Chapter 13 SARS and MERS: Harbingers of Things to Come 159

Chapter 14 Mosquitoes: Public Health Enemy Number One 178

Chapter 15 Zika: Expecting the Unexpected 205

Chapter 16 Antimicrobials: The Tragedy of the Commons 215

Chapter 17 Fighting the Resistance 237

Chapter 18 Influenza: The King of Infectious Diseases 254

Chapter 19 Pandemic: From Unspeakable to Inevitable 268

Chapter 20 Taking Influenza off the Table 286

Chapter 21 Battle Flan for Survival 299

Acknowledgments 321

Index 327

What People are Saying About This

author of The Hot Zone and The Demon in the Freeze - Richard Preston

"Michael Osterholm is one of the best epidemiologists—hunters of infectious diseases—of our time. When Osterholm tells us that the potential for global pandemics is a life-or-death issue for every person on the planet, we need to listen. Deadliest Enemy is a powerful and necessary book that looks at the threat of emerging diseases with clarity and realism, and offers us not just fear but plans."

CNN's National Security Analyst and author of United States of Jihad - Peter Bergen

"Deadliest Enemy is a lucid and concise account of how the battle against deadly germs is in many ways the most important war of all. Deadliest Enemy deftly melds authoritative science with a gripping narrative to tell what is arguably the most important story of our era."

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