Rabid for Rabid

Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus

55,000 people die in agony from this virus every year.

I'm talking rabies, people. I assumed (incorrectly) that this virus was mostly extinct. Rabies is very much alive and well - thanks to a lack of vaccines and treatment in some parts of the world. As a bleeding heart who is likely to try to help any injured animal that crosses my path, I decided to do a bit of research to see exactly how prevalent rabies is in Colorado. The Colorado Department of Natural Resources has some very accessible information, in case you're interested. Turns out, I should give up bare-handed handling of injured bats (just kidding, I wear gloves).

You might think that books on infectious diseases might be a tad bit boring. Not true! Be brave - take a romp with me through the amazing and tricky nature of contagion. Learn how "smart" viruses and why it's so important for science to try to keep abreast of them

Also recommended:

The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the 1918 Pandemic by John M. Barry

The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age by Nathan Wolfe

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen

 

Comments

One of my favorites is Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map, about a cholera epidemic in Victorian London. Gross, sad, fascinating.

I love all of Richard Preston's books, especially The Hot Zone. Thanks for the blog!

If you are interested in the what politics and denial can do to fan the flame of a pandemic, read The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back by Nicoli Nattrass.

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