Deadly Outbreaks

How Medical Detectives Save Lives Threatened by Killer Pandemics, Exotic Viruses, and Drug-Resistant Parasites

Foreword by Donald R. Hopkins
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About The Book

“Portrays epidemiologists as disease detectives who tirelessly hunt for clues and excel at deductive reasoning. Even Sherlock Holmes would be proud of this astute group of professionals.”—Booklist

Despite advances in health care, infectious microbes continue to be a formidable adversary to scientists and doctors. Vaccines and antibiotics, the mainstays of modern medicine, have not been able to conquer infectious microbes because of their amazing ability to adapt, evolve, and spread to new places. Terrorism aside, one of the greatest dangers from infectious disease we face today is from a massive outbreak of drug-resistant microbes.

Deadly Outbreaks recounts the scientific adventures of a special group of intrepid individuals who investigate these outbreaks around the world and figure out how to stop them. Part homicide detective, part physician, these medical investigators must view the problem from every angle, exhausting every possible source of contamination. Any data gathered in the field must be stripped of human sorrows and carefully analyzed into hard statistics.

Author Alexandra Levitt, PhD, is an expert on emerging diseases and other public health threats. Here she shares insider accounts she’s collected that go behind the alarming headlines we’ve seen in the media: mysterious food poisonings, unexplained deaths at a children’s hospital, a strange neurologic disease afflicting slaughterhouse workers, flocks of birds dropping dead out of the sky, and drug-resistant malaria running rampant in a refugee camp. Meet the resourceful investigators—doctors, veterinarians, and research scientists—and discover the truth behind these cases and more.

This edition features a new introduction by the author!

Product Details

  • Publisher: Skyhorse (September 22, 2015)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781510705265

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Raves and Reviews

"Levitt, a scientist with the Centers for Disease Control, portrays epidemiologists as disease detectives who tirelessly hunt for clues and excel at deductive reasoning. Even Sherlock Holmes would be proud of this astute group of professionals."—Booklist

"Alexandra Levitt has produced a wonderfully crafted series of stories on how real-world epidemiologists practice the art and science of disease outbreak detection, investigation, and response. ... Anyone with even a passing interest in disease investigation will find Deadly Outbreaks to be a great read."—Stephen Ostroff, MD, Former Deputy Director, National Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC, and Former Director, Bureau of Epidemiology, Pennsylvania Department of Health

"This terrific book allows us to experience 'shoe-leather' epidemiology at its very best. From the extraordinary detection of West Nile Virus in New York City to the control of drug-resistant malaria in the tropics, this endlessly fascinating book explores the world of epidemiologists at the front line in the global war against outbreaks, pandemics, and never- before-seen deadly pathogens. ... This is an extraordinary read!"—Matt Boulton, MD, MPH, Professor of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Michigan, School of Public Health

"These are gripping, suspenseful stories that are exceptionally well-written and highly instructive. Public health practitioners and students will benefit from the hard-won victories of epidemiologists described here, and in my opinion, one can hardly hope to learn important lessons for the future in a more enjoyable way...."
—Donald R. Hopkins, MD, MPH, Vice President of Health Programs at The Carter Center (from the Foreword to Deadly Outbreaks)

"Levitt, a scientist with the Centers for Disease Control, portrays epidemiologists as disease detectives who tirelessly hunt for clues and excel at deductive reasoning. Even Sherlock Holmes would be proud of this astute group of professionals."—Booklist

"Alexandra Levitt has produced a wonderfully crafted series of stories on how real-world epidemiologists practice the art and science of disease outbreak detection, investigation, and response. ... Anyone with even a passing interest in disease investigation will find Deadly Outbreaks to be a great read."—Stephen Ostroff, MD, Former Deputy Director, National Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC, and Former Director, Bureau of Epidemiology, Pennsylvania Department of Health

"This terrific book allows us to experience 'shoe-leather' epidemiology at its very best. From the extraordinary detection of West Nile Virus in New York City to the control of drug-resistant malaria in the tropics, this endlessly fascinating book explores the world of epidemiologists at the front line in the global war against outbreaks, pandemics, and never- before-seen deadly pathogens. ... This is an extraordinary read!"—Matt Boulton, MD, MPH, Professor of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Michigan, School of Public Health

"These are gripping, suspenseful stories that are exceptionally well-written and highly instructive. Public health practitioners and students will benefit from the hard-won victories of epidemiologists described here, and in my opinion, one can hardly hope to learn important lessons for the future in a more enjoyable way...."
—Donald R. Hopkins, MD, MPH, Vice President of Health Programs at The Carter Center (from the Foreword to Deadly Outbreaks)

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