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Outbreaks and Epidemics

Meera Senthilingam

A journey through the history and science of epidemics and pandemics – from measles to coronavirus.

For centuries mankind has waged war against the infections that, left untreated, would have the power to wipe out communities, or even entire populations. Yet for all our advanced scientific knowledge, only one human disease – smallpox – has ever been eradicated globally.

In recent years, outbreaks of Ebola and Zika have provided vivid examples of how difficult it is to contain an infection onceit strikes, and the panic that a rapidly spreading epidemic can ignite.

But while we chase the diseases we are already aware of, new ones are constantly emerging, like the coronavirus that spread across the world in 2020. At the same time, antimicrobial resistance is harnessing infections that we once knew how to control, enabling them to thrive once more.

Meera Senthilingam presents a timely look at humanity’s ongoing battle against infection, examining the successes and failures of the past, along with how we are confronting the challenges of today, and our chances of eradicating disease in the future.


Meera Senthilingam is passionate about global health issues and often ventures into the field to report on issues affecting communities around the world. She specialises in reporting for international news organisations and is currently a digital producer with CNN International. She writes training materials and runs workshops in health journalism for the World Federation of Science Journalists and is about to start a project to improve reporting on maternal health issues in northern Nigeria. She also believes in good communication of public health as a whole and has worked with various organisations including the Wellcome Trust, BBC Media Action, the National Press Foundation and the University of Cape Town.

Category:  Popular Science
ISBN:  9781785785634
Publisher:  Icon Books
On sale:  June 2020
Format:  Paperback
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