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Use these resources to find authoritative information about any contemporary infectious disease epidemic, especially new diseases caused by previously unknown infectious agents. E.g. COVID-19, AIDS, SARS, MERS and Ebola.
Best bets for authoritative information on current epidemics
News sources from biomedical professionals
High quality news articles can be found in the weekly medical publications The Lancet, NEJM, and JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), and the news sections of the weekly science journals Science (published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science) and Nature (U.K. publication).
High quality newspaper subscriptions for CUNY
Some books in the library
The Coming Plague by Unpurified drinking water. Improper use of antibiotics. Local warfare. Massive refugee migration. Changing social and environmental conditions around the world have fostered the spread of new and potentially devastating viruses and diseases--HIV, Lassa, Ebola, and others. Laurie Garrett takes you on a fifty-year journey through the world's battles with microbes and examines the worldwide conditions that have culminated in recurrent outbreaks of newly discovered diseases, epidemics of diseases migrating to new areas, and mutated old diseases that are no longer curable. She argues that it is not too late to take action to prevent the further onslaught of viruses and microbes, and offers possible solutions for a healthier future.
Call Number: Stacks RA 651. G37
Publication Date: 1995
Infectious Disease: A Very Short Introduction by As doctors and biologists have learned, to their dismay, infectious disease is a moving target: new diseases emerge every year, old diseases evolve into new forms, and ecological and socioeconomic upheavals change the transmission pathways by which disease spread. By taking an approach focusedon the general evolutionary and ecological dynamics of disease, this Very Short Introduction provides a general conceptual framework for thinking about disease.Ecology and evolution provide the keys to answering the 'where", "why", "how", and "what" questions about any particular infectious disease: where did it come from? How is it transmitted from one person to another, and why are some individuals more susceptible than others? What biochemical,ecological, and evolutionary strategies can be used to combat the disease? Is it more effective to block transmission at the population level, or to block infection at the individual level? Through a series of case studies, Benjamin Bolker and Marta L. Wayne introduce the major ideas of infectiousdisease in a clear and thoughtful way, emphasising the general principles of infection, the management of outbreaks, and the evolutionary and ecological approaches that are now central to much research about infectious disease.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Publication Date: 2015
Be Very Afraid: the cultural response to terror, pandemics, environmental devastation, nuclear annihilation, and other threats by Robert Wuthnow has been praised as one of "the country's best social scientists" by columnist David Brooks, who hails his writing as "tremendously valuable." The New York Times calls him "temperate, balanced, compassionate," adding, "one can't but admire Mr. Wuthnow's views." A leading authority on religion, he now addresses one of the most profound subjects: the end of the world. In Be Very Afraid, Wuthnow examines the human response to existential threats--once a matter for theology, but now looming before us in multiple forms. Nuclear weapons, pandemics, global warming: each threatens to destroy the planet, or at least to annihilate our species. Freud, he notes, famously taught that the standard psychological response to an overwhelming danger is denial. In fact, Wuthnow writes, the opposite is true: we seek ways of positively meeting the threat, of doing something--anything--even if it's wasteful and time-consuming. The atomic era that began with the bombing of Hiroshima sparked a flurry of activity, ranging from duck-and-cover drills, basement bomb shelters, and marches for a nuclear freeze. All were arguably ineffectual, yet each sprang from an innate desire to take action. It would be one thing if our responses were merely pointless, Wuthnow observes, but they can actually be harmful. Both the public and policymakers tend to model reactions to grave threats on how we met previous ones. The response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, for example, echoed the Cold War--citizens went out to buy duct tape, mimicking 1950s-era civil defense measures, and the administration launched two costly conflicts overseas. Offering insight into our responses to everything from An Inconvenient Truth to the bird and swine flu epidemics, Robert Wuthnow provides a profound new understanding of the human reaction to existential vulnerability.
Call Number: Stacks HV551.2 .W88 2010
Publication Date: 2010
Pandemic: tracking contagions, from cholera to ebola and beyond by Prizewinning science journalist Sonia Shah presents a startling examination of the history of viral infections that have ravaged humanity--and how that knowledge prepares us to stop the next worldwide outbreak. Over the past fifty years, more than three hundred infectious diseases have either newly emerged or reemerged, appearing in territories where they've never been seen before. Ninety percent of epidemiologists expect that one of them will cause a deadly pandemic sometime in the next two generations. It could be Ebola, avian flu, a drug-resistant superbug, or something completely new. While we can't know which pathogen will cause the next pandemic, by unraveling the story of how pathogens have caused pandemics in the past, we can make predictions about the future. InPandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond, Shah interweaves history, original reportage, and personal narrative to explore the origins of epidemics, drawing parallels between cholera, one of history's most deadly and disruptive pandemic-causing pathogens, and the new diseases that stalk humankind today. To reveal how a new pandemic might develop, she tracks each stage of cholera's dramatic journey, from its emergence in the South Asian hinterlands as a harmless microbe to its rapid dispersal across the nineteenth-century world, all the way to its latest beachhead in Haiti. Along the way she reports on the pathogens now following in cholera's footsteps, from the MRSA bacterium that besieges her own family to the never-before-seen killers coming out of China's wet markets, the surgical wards of New Delhi, and the suburban backyards of the East Coast. By delving into the convoluted science, strange politics, and checkered history of one of the world's deadliest diseases,Pandemic reveals what the next global contagion might look like-- and what we can do to prevent it. "The power of Shah's account lies in her ability to track simultaneously the multiple dimensions of the public-health crises we are facing."--The Chicago Tribune
Call Number: Stacks RA 643. S62 2016
Publication Date: 2016
Emerging Infections 10 by Chapters on ebola, zika, MERS, influenza, measles, and more. American Society for Microbiology.
Publication Date: 2016
Is Wikipedia any good?
Anyone, anywhere, at anytime can write and change Wikipedia articles, which is both a strength and a weakness. The reliability of wikipedia articles is debated. However, during the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa, the Wikipedia articles on Ebola emerged as a trusted resource for many readers, as they attracted an unusual amount of attention from doctors and scientists who were concerned at ensuring the information in the article is good, and are volunteering their time and expertise to edit the articles as a public service, as they were being read by so many people. The same may be happening with the 2019-20 coronavirus outbreak. But expert volunteers may not stay so vigilant though, as with the passing of time other matters will demand their attention.
WARNING: Always read Wikipedia sites with skepticism! Be aware many professors do not want to see a WIkipedia article cited in an assignment! USE WITH CAUTION!
Wikipedia on the Ebola virus disease.
WIkipedia on the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.
Wikipedia on the 2019-20 coronavirus outbreak