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Quiet Killers: The Fall and Rise of Deadly…
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Quiet Killers: The Fall and Rise of Deadly Diseases (edició 2008)

de Dr. Robert Baker

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With bird flu a very present threat, this is a timely and important look at the impact of quiet killers through the ages. In 1658 Oliver Cromwell, having brought a king to execution, and risen to power, died from malaria when he refused to take the Devil?s Bark, the quinine compound produced in a Catholic colony, which could have cured him. Like many other infectious diseases, malaria was endemic in Britain until the twentieth century, when it and other diseases seemed to be vanquished by science. Yet now the trend for those diseases seems to be reversing: some infectious agents are becoming resistant to nearly all available antibiotics; differences in travel and social behaviour spread infections more widely; and, with changes in climate, diseases are either being described for the first time, or appearing in previously unaffected areas. But do we need some deadly diseases to stimulate our immunity? Has humankind depended on infection to drive evolution? How vulnerable are we now? Writer and infectious diseases specialist Dr Robert Baker takes a fascinating look at the history of deadly diseases, and discusses their future impact in a changing world.… (més)
Membre:mdstarr
Títol:Quiet Killers: The Fall and Rise of Deadly Diseases
Autors:Dr. Robert Baker
Informació:The History Press (2008), Hardcover, 256 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:Public Health, Global Health.

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Quiet Killers: The Fall and Rise of Deadly Diseases de Dr. Robert Baker

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How infectious diseases are evolving faster than science.
  mdstarr | Sep 11, 2011 |
This engaging read is an overview of diseases caused by infectious agents. This is, of course, a fascinating topic, but Baker takes it a step further. He manages to avoid writing the hagiography of Great Diseases and the Men Who Cured Them as well as maintaining optimism about the survival of the human species. He takes care to touch on the ethics of pharmaceutical practices, the historical pattern of disease, and the ecological factors that lead to new epidemics. He also explains, in laymen's terms, the routes to antibiotic resistance; I knew, for example, that antibiotics are often mixed into livestock feed, but to realize that in some countries 99.9% of certain antibiotics are used this way--wow. And he discusses recent diseases as well as "historical" ones, allowing him to postulate the next major illness to sweep through humanity.

The descriptions of the diseases give detail without dwelling on the gory; neither do the photographic plates focus on horrific symptoms and cell invasions. It helps to read this with a slight British accent in mind; however, the British idioms that do occur are clear from context. Baker also gives a bibliography rather than footnotes, preferring popular writings where available but citing specific papers where this is not the case.

Highly recommended.
Read with: Gerald Callahan's love essay "Chimera." ( )
  chellerystick | Jul 2, 2008 |
How infectious diseases are evolving faster than science.
  muir | Dec 7, 2007 |
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With bird flu a very present threat, this is a timely and important look at the impact of quiet killers through the ages. In 1658 Oliver Cromwell, having brought a king to execution, and risen to power, died from malaria when he refused to take the Devil?s Bark, the quinine compound produced in a Catholic colony, which could have cured him. Like many other infectious diseases, malaria was endemic in Britain until the twentieth century, when it and other diseases seemed to be vanquished by science. Yet now the trend for those diseases seems to be reversing: some infectious agents are becoming resistant to nearly all available antibiotics; differences in travel and social behaviour spread infections more widely; and, with changes in climate, diseases are either being described for the first time, or appearing in previously unaffected areas. But do we need some deadly diseases to stimulate our immunity? Has humankind depended on infection to drive evolution? How vulnerable are we now? Writer and infectious diseases specialist Dr Robert Baker takes a fascinating look at the history of deadly diseases, and discusses their future impact in a changing world.

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