The successes and failures in humanity's ongoing battle against infection

19 March 2020 - 10:06
'Outbreaks and Epidemics: Battling infection from measles to coronavirus'.
'Outbreaks and Epidemics: Battling infection from measles to coronavirus'.
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Coming in June 2020

The latest title in Icon's Hot Science series, exploring the cutting edge of science and technology.

A look at humanity's war against infection — past, present and future.

The first book in this area to cover coronavirus.

For centuries humanity has waged war against infections that, left untreated, would have the power to wipe out communities or entire populations.

Yet for all our advanced scientific knowledge, only one human disease — smallpox — has ever been eradicated.

In recent years, outbreaks of Ebola and Zika have provided examples of how difficult it is to contain an infection once it strikes, and the panic that a rapidly spreading epidemic can ignite.

But while we chase the diseases we are aware of, new ones are constantly emerging, such as the coronavirus that is spreading across the world. At the same time, antimicrobial resistance is harnessing infections that we once knew how to control, enabling them to thrive once more.

Meera Senthilingam presents a timely look at humanity’s ongoing battle against infection, examining the successes and failures of the past, along with how we are confronting the challenges of today, and our chances of eradicating disease in the future.

Senthilingam is a journalist, editor and public health researcher specialising in global health and infectious diseases. She has worked with media outlets including the BBC and the New York Times, and research institutions including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and London's Wellcome Trust. She is the international health editor for CNN.