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Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present, and Future
  • Author Image
    Michael B a Oldstone
  • Publisher Logo
    Oxford University Press, USA

Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present, and Future

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Key Metrics

  • Michael B a Oldstone
  • Oxford University Press, USA
  • Paperback
  • 9780190056780
  • 8.2 X 5.4 X 1.4 inches
  • 1.35 pounds
  • History > General
  • English
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Book Description

More people were killed by smallpox during the twentieth century--over 300 million--than by all of the wars of that period combined. In 1918 and 1919, influenza virus claimed over 50 million lives. A century later, influenza is poised to return, ongoing plagues of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis infect millions, and Ebola, Zika, and West Nile viruses cause new concern and panic.

The overlapping histories of humans and viruses are ancient. Earliest cities became both the cradle of civilization and breeding grounds for the first viral epidemics. This overlap is the focus of virologist/immunologist Michael Oldstone in Viruses, Plagues and History. Oldstone explains principles of viruses and epidemics while recounting stories of viruses and their impact on human history. This fully updated second edition includes engrossing new chapters on hepatitis, Zika, and contemporary threats such as the possible return of a catastrophic influenza, and the impact of fear of autism on vaccination efforts. This is a fascinating panorama of humankind's longstanding conflict with unseen viral enemies, both human successes--such as control of poliomyelitis, measles, smallpox and yellow fever, and continued dangers--such as HIV and Ebola. Impeccably researched and accessibly written, Viruses, Plagues and History will fascinate all with an interest in how viral illnesses alter the course of human history.

Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present, and Future

Author Bio

Michael B. A. Oldstone, M.D., is Professor and Head of the Viral-Immunobiology Laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute. A leader in the field, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors and has served or serves on several national and international committees charged with understanding, treating and eliminating viral diseases. He was a consultant to the World Health Organization for the eradication of poliomyelitis and measles, and was a member of the SAGE Executive Board. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

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