Solving the Mysteries of Deadly EpidemicsBook - 2014
Engrossing true stories of the pioneers of epidemiology who risked their lives to find the source of deadly diseases.
Throughout history, more people have died in disease epidemics than in wars or other disasters. The courageous, trail-blazing defenders against these diseases faced a terrifying personal gamble. Often they were ignored, laughed at, or even fired from their jobs. But they kept hunting for answers, putting the pieces of the epidemic puzzle together.
As they looked for clues to the origin of a disease, scientists searched for the unknown "patient zero"--the first person to have contracted it. In nineteenth-century London, Dr. John Snow's mapping of an epidemic found that patient zero was a six-month-old baby, whose cholera-laden diarrhea had contaminated the water of a local pump. It led to the death of 10,000 inhabitants exposed to the dirty water.
Patient Zero brilliantly brings to life the main characters and events to tell the gripping tale of how each of seven diseases spread.
* The Great Plague, 1665
* The Soho Outbreak,1854
* Yellow Fever in Cuba, 1900
* Typhoid in New York City, 1906
* Spanish Influenza, 1918-1919
* Ebola in Zaire, 1976
* AIDS in the U.S., 1980.
The result is spine-chilling as Peters follows the scientists who solved the intricate mystery of the killer epidemics. Patient Zero reminds us that millions of people owe their lives to the work of these pioneer epidemiologists, work that continues to this day.