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Fascinated by Contagion

Books SpilloverBernie Godlbach in Cashel | Cover from Spillover

SOMETHING VERY INTERESTING about the spread of contagion intrigues me. David Quammen writes about the spread of virus in a fascinating way.

The emergence of strange new diseases is a frightening problem that seems to be getting worse. We're connected by easy intercontinental routes and our use of speedy travel increases the probability of a worldwide pandemic in our lifetimes. Reports of Ebola, SARS, and AIDS on the nightly news have become so commonplace that we easily miss the the big truth that such phenomena are part of a single pattern. The bugs that transmit these diseases share one thing: they originate in wild animals and pass to humans by a process called spillover. David Quammen tracks this subject around the world. He recounts adventures in the field—netting bats in China, trapping monkeys in Bangladesh, stalking gorillas in the Congo—with the world’s leading disease scientists. I'm reading  Spillover to learn how these diseases originate. He writes a literary crescendo that asks the terrifying question: What might the next big one be? I hope it doesn't take me out.

Contagion They're Calling My Flight


David Quammen -- Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic ISBN 978-0393066807

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