. They all share the entire biosphere. Her investigations have taken over a decade to complete, and her findings are meticulously discussed and distilled." In the microbial world warfare is a constant. Garrett has mastered an extraordinary amount of detail about the pathology, epidemiology, and human events surrounding dozens of complex diseases. They can actually live on a bar of soap. —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times"This brilliant book conveys a grim message: that we may be entering a period of dramatic change in our relationship with infectious disease . “It is, I think, worthwhile being conscious of the limits upon our powers,” McNeill said. The Coming Plague also clearly shows how changes in our environment, and the destruction of nature and animal habitats, is a big risk for future diseases and pandemics. A frightening vision of the future and a deeply unsettling one." the possibility exists that a deadly and common organism could emerge that is easily spread from person to person and that might be aloof to all available therapeutic and preventive methods.”, “The microbe is nothing; the terrain everything.” — Louis Pasteur, “Over the long course of history, McNeill said, pathogenic microbes sought stability in their relationships with hosts. —The Economist"Garrett brilliantly develops her theme that rapidly increasing dangers are being ignor… More…, "A sober, scary book that not only limns the dangers posed by emerging diseases but also raises serious questions about two centuries worth of Enlightenment beliefs in science and technology and progress . In periodic times of drug scarcity, surges of malaria cases could be seen.”, “Before the London meeting the GPA staff had reviewed all the legal and political activities surrounding AIDS and concluded that they were witnessing, in slow motion, many of the same social responses that had followed the arrival of the plague in fourteenth-century Europe. . We have changed the whole face of the earth by the use of antibiotics. Yeasts secrete antibiotics to ward off attacking bacteria. The double standard of chastity in the home and risque behavior in the anonymity of the urban night dates back as far as the beginning of written history.”, “Medical research money per se was not usually a partisan matter in the United States. Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. . Some viruses changed very slowly over time, probably because they possessed extremely accurate mechanisms for replication and repair of their genetic material. Efforts to eradicate malaria severely disrupted that balance. “Are we better off today than we were a century ago? It was decades before British physicians figured out that blackwater fever was an iatrogenic disease. First, with the initial emergence of the microbe — plague bacteria or HIV — came denial in all tiers of society. It was not to their advantage to wipe out millions of nonimmune human beings in a single decade, as happened to Amerindians following the arrival of Columbus and Cortez. At times it does really feel like Laurie Garrett had a crystal ball for the coronavirus and pandemic, and that makes this book all the more incredible. Without consulting often costly physicians, and certainly in the absence of expensive tests that could determine the drug sensitivities of the bacterial strains with which they were infected, the world’s poor were compelled to guess what drug might cure the disease that was ravaging their children or themselves. The survival of most organisms necessitates the demise of others. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times"This brilliant book conveys a grim message: that we may be entering a period of dramatic change in our relationship with infectious disease . It seemed perfectly reasonable therefore to assume that the evolution of microbes capable of infecting Homo sapiens would accelerate, perhaps dramatically.”, “Ultimately, humanity will have to change its perspective on its place in Earth’s ecology if the species hopes to stave off or survive the next plague. It was speculation, of course. They are our predators and they will be victorious if we, Homo sapiens, do not learn how to live in a rational global village that affords the microbes few opportunities. For centuries an ecological balance existed between the humans and the parasites, via the mosquitoes. Never.”, “Eradication took eleven years, involving about a hundred highly trained professionals and thousands of local health workers and staff worldwide. I have the greatest admiration for Laurie Garrett." It is an important contribution to our awareness of human ecology and the fragility of the relative biological well-being that many of us enjoy. We have beaten out virtually every other species to the point where we may now talk about protecting our former predators,” Joshua Lederberg told a 1994 Manhattan gathering of investment bankers. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. We have organisms now proliferating that never existed before in nature. Cloudflare Ray ID: 5e74b7d08e46ce53 “But we’re not alone at the top of the food chain.” Our microbe predators are adapting, changing, evolving, he warned. Even though The Coming Plague was first published in 1994, it’s probably more relevant today than ever. Laurie Garrett's book The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance is nearly 20 years old but it offers very interesting background information about the first round of Ebola in Africa, plus important discussion of how diseases develop and spread. —Richard Preston, New York Times-bestselling author of The Hot Zone. The Coming Plague First published in 1994 in hardcover by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, THE COMING PLAGUE: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance was a New York Times bestseller in 1994-5. Yet in one vital area, the emergence and spread of new infectious diseases, we can already predict the future — and it is threatening and dangerous to us all.”, “In those early days before bacteria became resistant to antibiotics, such doses were capable of performing miracles, and the Army doctors were so impressed with the powers of penicillin that they collected the urine of patients who were on the drug and crystallized excreted penicillin for reuse on other GIs.”, “Nature isn’t benign,” Lederberg said at the meeting’s opening. Some event in the biological epidemic would suddenly shock a society out of its state of denial, propelling people into a state of group terror.”, “Eventually, the Programme staff knew, the social epidemic of fear usually yielded to a wake of repression. —Los Angeles Times"Absorbing...the insights into the personalities and the stories behind new infectious diseases are fascinating. “It is worth keeping in mind that the more we win, the more we drive infections to the margins of human experience, the more we clear a path for possible catastrophic infection. Overuse of the powerful drug to counteract malaria led to quinine’s attachment directly onto the membranes of red blood cells. She writes engagingly, carrying her themes as well … But AIDS was unique. . Laurie Garrett is a science contributor for NBC News and MSNBC and a former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1580, however, the world was clearly hit by a major pandemic that followed trade and early colonial routes across Africa, Europe, and the Americas. They can survive in the detergent. The result — the gin and tonic — went a long way to prophylaxing the British Army against malaria. Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers. Theirs is the world of natural limitations: temperature, pH, ultraviolet light, the presence of vulnerable hosts, and mobile vectors. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices. —Michiko Kakutani, The New York TimesAfter decades spent assuming that the conquest of infectious disease was imminent, people on all continents now find themselves besieged by AIDS, drug-resistant tuberculosis, cholera that defies chlorine water treatment, and exotic viruses that can kill in a matter of hours. . If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. Microbes, and their vectors, recognize none of the artificial boundaries erected by human beings. I found it hard to put the book down." In such an environment various SIV strains had ample opportunity to move from immune hosts to vulnerable simian species. We have selected them. No one could be certain how the immunodeficiency viruses zoonotically moved among primates in ancient Africa.”, “Consider the difference in size between some of the very tiniest and the very largest creatures on Earth. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. The microbes exploited such denial, spreading rapidly while humans made no attempts, through their personal or collective behaviors, to block any of the avenues of transmission of the organisms.”, “The second social epidemic was fear.