“A quiet little gem of understanding in a cacophony of panic and fear.” —Quill & Quire, STARRED review
Authored by a leading epidemiologist, this engrossing book answers our questions about animal diseases that jump to humans—called zoonoses—including what attracts them to humans, why they have become more common in recent history, and how we can keep them at bay.
Almost all pandemics and epidemics have been caused by diseases that come to us from animals, including SARS, Ebola, and—now—Covid-19. Epidemiologist, veterinarian, and ecosystem health specialist, David Waltner-Toews, gathers the latest research to profile dozens of illnesses in On Pandemics. Chapters are broken into short, dynamic explainers, each one tackling a different disease. Readers will discover:
- Why zoonotic diseases jump from animals to humans—and why some decide to stick around for good.
- How governments have responded to pandemics and epidemics throughout history, for better or for worse.
- The role of climate change, industrialized farming, cultural practices, biodiversity loss, and globalization in making these diseases not only possible, but inevitable outcomes of our modern lifestyles.
Coronaviruses, such as those that cause SARS and Covid-19, have likely made bats their home for centuries. Until SARS came along, we didn’t know they were there, nor do we know how many other death-dealing viruses might be living undetected in wildlife. On Pandemics shows the greater impact of animal-borne diseases on our world, and encourages us to re-examine our role in pandemics, if not for our own health, then for the health of our planet.
Published originally in 2007 as The Chickens Fight Back: Pandemic Panics and Deadly Diseases that Jump from Animals to Humans, this book has been updated in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Waltner-Toews makes truly entertaining reading.” —Globe and Mail
“A page-turner presented with irreverent humour and many hair-raising anecdotes.” —Vitality Magazine
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
1 An Introduction to the Second Edition 1
2 Threats, Outbreaks, Epidemics, and Pandemics: A Primer 7
3 Zoonoses and Diseases People Get from Other Animals 15
4 Plagues, Rats, and the Perfection of Fleas 24
5 Lyme, with a Twist 46
6 Biting Flies, Kissing Bugs, and Sleeping Sickness 58
7 Western Equine Encephalitis, Television, and Air Conditioning 80
8 West Nile Virus and the St. Louis Blues 88
9 The Chickens Fight Back, with Ducks 104
10 Queens of the South: Nipah, SARS-COV, and SARS-COV-2 122
11 Rats, Bats, and Monkeys: Lassa, Ebola, and Marburg 137
12 Splashing through Rat Piss: Leptospires and Hantaviruses 148
13 All the Rage 156
14 Abortion in the Sandbox and Other Pet Problems 171
15 Poker Players' Pneumonia 191
16 Bang's Disease and the White Plague 200
17 Dog Parasites in the Land of the Gods 208
18 Stories for the InterPandemic 231
Selected Readings 247
Acknowledgments for the Second Edition 252