In The New Killer Diseases, respected immunologist Dr. Elinor Levy and veteran science author Mark Fischetti explore the astonishing range of killer microbes, both documented and newly-emerging.
From the SARS and West Nile viruses to mad cow and Ebola, thirty new deadly diseases have arisen since the 1970s, and twenty old scourges, such as plague and cholera, are reemerging. But, as the authors point out, the FDA only recently approved the first new type of antibiotic in thirty-four years, and vaccines for many of the most lethal viruses are a long way from development. In addition, researchers have only lately discovered that bacteria have been swapping resistance genes--genes that help them evade the drugs meant to kill them--and are evolving new mechanisms to fight off even our best drugs at a startling pace.
Drawing upon fascinating recent studies by researchers and medical professionals across the country, as well as the many remarkable stories of people who have contracted new afflictions, The New Killer Diseases will reveal to students the way these new diseases manifest themselves, the symptomologies involved, and how the medical profession should best manage this new, and growing, crisis.
"The New Killer Diseases is a clarion call for vigilance in our ongoing Darwinian struggle with pathogens. Clearly stated, admirably argued, measured in its conclusion, this book is timely and compelling."
--Alfred Tauber, M.D., director, Center for Philosophy and History of Science, Boston University
ELINOR LEVY, Ph.D., is an immunologist and associate professor of microbiology at Boston University and the Boston Medical Center. She has conducted research on HIV and on immune responses in healthy individuals.
MARK FISCHETTI is a contributing editor to Scientific American magazine and a veteran science writer.