The Coming Plague

The Coming Plague Summary

"Here is a volume that should be required reading for policy makers and health professionals." - Kirkus Reviews

After four decades of assuming that the conquest of all infectous diseases was imminent, people on all continents now find themselves besieged by AIDS, drug-resistant tuberculosis, cholera that defies chlorine water treatment, and exotic viruses that can kill in a matter of hours.

Based on extensive interviews with leading experts in virology, molecular biology, disease ecology and medicine, as well as field research in sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, Central America and the United States, The Coming Plague takes readers from the savannas of eastern Bolivia to the rain forests of northern Zaire on a harrowing, fifty year journey through our battles with the microbes, and tells us what must be done to prevent the coming plague.

Book Reviews


Fascinating, enthralling and terrifying - simply a wonderful read!!!5 star

Absolutely fascinating account of the seemingly sudden and mysterious emergence of all of the new and terrifying infectious diseases that invaded to world following the 1960's, just after doctors and scientists of the world had been congratulating themselves on finally eradicating the last of the killer plagues of the world. As good a mystery story as they come, Laurie Garrett recounts the detailed and frightening story of the discovery of these horrible new diseases we read hear about in the news almost every day - HIV, Ebola (see excerpt below), Marburg, Lassa Fever, Swine Flu, Toxic Shock Syndrome, and others. A New York Times "Notable Book of 1994," and just as relevant and current today. Simply a wonderfully exciting, frightening yet totally entertaining read. Five stars hands down! On Ebola: Excerpt from: Garrett, Laurie, "The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance." (c1995) Penguin. (Abridged) This material is protected by copyright. "Report from: Dr. Ngoi Mushola, Medical Director, Bumba Medical Service, Northern Frontier - Bumba Zone, Republique du Zaire "To: Kinshasha Medical Service, Kinshasa, Republique du Zaire "Inquiry into alarming cases in the community of Yandongi, Bumba Zone, 15–17 September 1976. “Findings: The affliction is characterized by a high temperature around 39°C; frequent vomiting of black, digested blood, but of red blood in a few cases; diarrheal emissions initially sprinkled with blood, with only red blood near death; epistaxis [nosebleeds] now and then; retrosternal and abdominal pain and a state of stupor; prostration with heaviness in the joints; rapid evolution toward death after a period of about three days, from a state of general health. “What Dr. Ngoi Mushola had written, though he did not know it at the time, was the first historic description of a new disease: Ebola. "In clear, succinct, and as time would show, largely accurate terms, Dr. Ngoi had described what would prove to be the second most lethal disease of the twentieth century. “Footnote: Untreated rabies ranks as the number one fatal disease in the world, it is 100 percent fatal."55

Anthony R. Bethea

A.R. Bethea4 star

A great read! A wonder writer! Distant Thunder is the most interesting chapter!45

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