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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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Scientific American Best Book of the Year, and a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Ebola, SARS, Hendra, AIDS, and countless other deadly viruses all have one thing in common: the bugs that transmit these diseases all originate in wild animals and pass to humans by a process called spillover. In this gripping account, David Quammen takes the reader along on this astonishing quest to learn how, where from, and why these diseases emerge and asks the terrifying question: What might the next big one be?

David Quammen is the author of The Song of the Dodo, among other books. He has been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is the recipient of a John Burroughs Medal and the National Magazine Award. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
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Title:Spillover: Animal Infections And The Next Human PandemicFormat:PaperbackDimensions:592 pages, 8.24 × 5.47 × 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 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

That [Quammen] hasn’t won a nonfiction National Book Award or Pulitzer Prize is an embarrassment…Timely and terrifying. Mr. Quammen, a gifted science writer, combines physical and intellectual adventure. He also adds a powerful measure of moral witness: ecological destruction is greatly to blame for our current peril. — Dwight Garner (The New York Times)David Quammen [is] one of that rare breed of science journalists who blend exploration with a talent for synthesis and storytelling. — Nathan Wolfe (Nature)Riveting, terrifying, and inspiring. — Georges Simenon (Wired)David Quammen might be my favorite living science writer: amiable, erudite, understated, incredibly funny, profoundly humane. The best of his books, The Song of the Dodo, renders the relatively arcane field of island biogeography as gripping as a thriller. That bodes well for his new book, whose subject really is thriller-worthy: how deadly diseases (AIDS, SARS, Ebola) make the leap from animals to humans, and how, where, and when the next pandemic might emerge. — Kathryn Schulz (New York Magazine)[Spillover is] David Quammen’s absorbing, lively and, yes, occasionally gory trek through the animal origins of emerging human diseases. — Cleveland Plain DealerAs page turning as Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone…[Quammen is] one of the best science writers. — Seattle Times[Spillover] delivers news from the front lines of public health. It makes clear that animal diseases are inseparable from us because we are inseparable from the natural world. — Philadelphia TribuneStarred review. ...a frightening but critically important book for anyone interested in learning about the prospects of the world’s next major pandemic. — Publishers WeeklyStarred review. A wonderful, eye-opening account of humans versus disease. — Kirkus ReviewsStarred review. An essential work. — Booklist