Written by a public health practitioner and a medical historian, Viral Pandemics explores the terrifying world of viruses as the cause of all acute pandemics since 1900, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The book illuminates the critical dual roles of viral biology and increasing global interconnectedness that have resulted in an escalating pandemic spiral.
Viral Pandemics is the first book to focus exclusively on pandemics caused by viruses and the first to report the COVID-19 pandemic. In each chapter, the historiographic narrative follows the path of the virus from its original detection through its first appearance as the cause of disease, to its emergence as an explosive pandemic. Scientific information is presented in an accessible, straightforward style in compelling narratives that introduce the extraordinary universe of diverse, opportunistic viruses whose remarkable capacities make them formidable adversaries. The book makes it clear that global viral disease challenges are a persistent reality with the potential to cause catastrophic loss of life and major social and economic damage. A summary chapter draws together lessons learned and develops a proposed multidisciplinary global response.
Viral Pandemics is the only book that provides a complete historical narrative focused on viral pandemics. This comprehensive survey is designed for students and scholars in biology, epidemiology, public health, global history and the history of medicine, as well as general readers interested in the science of pandemics.