Sunday, January 31, 2016

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

Book: Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
Author: David Quammen

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Scientific AmericanBest Book of the Year, and a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Ebola, SARS, Hendra, AIDS, and countless other deadly viruses all have one thing in common: the bugs that transmit these diseases all originate in wild animals and pass to humans by a process called spillover. In this gripping account, David Quammen takes the reader along on this astonishing quest to learn how, where from, and why these diseases emerge and asks the terrifying question: What might the next big one be?-Goodreads

Review: This is without question, the freakiest book I've ever read. One of my best friends is an infectious disease expert with the CDC and recommended this. Honestly, I was thinking 'why would I want to read a book about infectious diseases, I'm not a scientist?' but I am so glad I read this. This book is about spillovers (when a microbe passes from animal to human as a disease).  Quammen takes a detective type approach going from one disease to the next. He starts with a documented case, how the scientists and doctors treat/research/track etc. It was overall fascinating. There were some sections that weren't as interesting as others, but overall this was a fantastic read. 

Sidenote-I have ZERO desire to ever touch a bat, any sort of monkey/chip/gorilla or travel to Africa after reading this. 

Grade: 4/5

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