Spillover: Animal Infections And The Next Human Pandemic by David QuammenSpillover: Animal Infections And The Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen

Spillover: Animal Infections And The Next Human Pandemic

byDavid Quammen

Paperback | September 10, 2013

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The next big human pandemic—the next disease cataclysm, perhaps on the scale of AIDS or the 1918 influenza—is likely to be caused by a new virus coming to humans from wildlife. Experts call such an event “spillover” and they warn us to brace ourselves. David Quammen has tracked this subject from the jungles of Central Africa, the rooftops of Bangladesh, and the caves of southern China to the laboratories where researchers work in space suits to study lethal viruses. He illuminates the dynamics of Ebola, SARS, bird flu, Lyme disease, and other emerging threats and tells the story of AIDS and its origins as it has never before been told. Spillover reads like a mystery tale, full of mayhem and clues and questions. When the Next Big One arrives, what will it look like? From which innocent host animal will it emerge? Will we be ready?
David Quammen is the author of The Song of the Dodo, among other books. He has been honored with the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing, an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an award in the art of the essay from PEN, and (three times) the National Magazine Award. Quammen is also a contribut...
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Title:Spillover: Animal Infections And The Next Human PandemicFormat:PaperbackDimensions:592 pages, 8.24 × 5.48 × 1.02 inPublished:September 10, 2013Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393346617

ISBN - 13:9780393346619

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thrilling As a scientist i really enjoyed this book and recommend it to everyone
Date published: 2018-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of Quammen'so best! I have been a huge fan of David Quammen's writing for a long time and have read most of his work. This one takes the cake. I have reread it a number of times and use some of it in my science program at school when teaching about viruses. I highly recommended this book - it will freak you out and expand your knowledge about a very relevent topic. After this one pick up "Monster of God" by Quammen - another one of my favorites.
Date published: 2017-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A "spillover" occurs when a microbe crosses over from an animal to humans, as an infectious disease. David Quammen describes many examples of this: SARS, ebola, HIV, influenza, marburg and hendra. Each chapter is a detective story--scientists, veterinarians and medical researchers are detectives searching for the source of a disease. The source is usually a reservoir--an animal that carries the microbe, but is not usually harmed by the microbe. And--now here's the best part--Quammen is not a stay-at-home researcher. He visits the scientists and interviews them over extended periods of time. And better yet--he accompanies scientists on research expeditions all over the world, in search of the reservoirs for terrible diseases. Quammen describes, in detail, what it is like to hunt for elusive viruses in bats, chimpanzees, monkeys, and horses. Often, the researchers must take special precautions to avoid being infected themselves. Sometimes these precautions fail, with awful consequences. Quammen investigates why spillovers occur when and where they do. It's a combination of ecology and evolution. A microbe is carried by an animal reservoir, and usually in equilibrium where the animal is unharmed. Then, some dramatic change to the environment occurs, usually it is caused by humans impinging on the local ecology. The microbe mutates and jumps either to a vector (like a mosquito or a rat) or directly to a human. Further mutations then allow the microbe to jump from one human to another, causing an epidemic. Researchers agree that in the future, there will be lethal epidemics like AIDS and the influenza pandemic of 1918. Such epidemics are totally unpredictable, because of the diversity of human behavior. David Quammen is an excellent writer--he has a wonderful style. It is obvious from his enthusiasm and from his extensive travels, that this book represents his life-long efforts. Spillover is a sequence of detective mysteries and adventure stories, all rolled up into one. I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2013-10-05

Editorial Reviews

David Quammen [is] one of that rare breed of science journalists who blend exploration with a talent for synthesis and storytelling. — Nathan Wolfe (Nature)An adventure-filled page-turner…told from the front lines of pandemic prevention. — Lizzie Wade (Wired)As page turning as Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone…[Quammen is] one of the best science writers. — Seattle TimesDavid Quammen might be my favorite living science writer: amiable, erudite, understated, incredibly funny, profoundly humane. — Kathryn Schulz (New York Magazine)Quammen balances the technical terms with gorily gripping description and scenes from his own fearless journeys…But his real gift is his writing, with its nice balance of reverence and whimsy. — Chloë Schama (Smithsonian)Quammen’s more teacher than Jeremiah. So he calms when he can; but he’s blunt when he must be. — Jeffrey Burke (Bloomberg)The scariest book you’ll read this year. — The Daily Beast[An] ambitious and encyclopedic voyage…Mr. Quammen does a beautiful job of showing how so much of scientific knowledge is provisional, with great unknowns about infectious diseases. — Richard Preston, author of The Hot ZoneDavid Quammen has done it again. Fascinating and terrifying, Spillover is a real-life thriller with an outcome that affects us all. — Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth ExtinctionThis is a frightening and fascinating masterpiece of science reporting that reads like a detective story. David Quammen takes us on a quest to understand AIDS, Ebola, and other diseases that share a frightening commonality: they all jumped from wild animals to humans. By explaining this growing trend, Quammen not only provides a warning about the diseases we will face in the future, he also causes us to reflect on our place as humans in the earth’s ecosystem. — Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo Da Vinci