Of Mice, Men, and Microbes

Of Mice, Men, and Microbes : Hantavirus

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In May 1993, a cluster of cases of a lethal disease among healthy young people brought the attention of the world to the southwestern deserts. A previously unknown disease was killing up to 80% of the people it infected.

The reaction in the area and across the nation mixed fear, lack of information, and the struggles of doctors to save the victims of an unknown killer with hard science and the age old rhythmns of the desert. What came out was the story of a virus that had been killing since man arrived in the American continents, Hantavirus, with deadly relatives across the Americas and across the world. This book explains why and how the virus kills, and why it is still killing today. Why all of the science aimed at a virus identified back in 1993 has not brought a vaccine or a cure is part of the story, as is how that killer virus fits into the story of "new" diseases across the world.

The story of hantavirus disease, what has happened since that first outbreak, and what the real risks are is laid out by an experienced scientist and an award winning journalist living and working in the area of the 1993 outbreak.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 278 pages
  • 152 x 242 x 20mm | 621.42g
  • Academic Press Inc
  • San Diego, United States
  • English
  • 012326460X
  • 9780123264602

Table of contents

The Heart of America/The Middle of Nowhere
An Outbreak of Fear
Unravelling the Mystery
Putting the Puzzle Together
Of Mice and Men
At Last, a Plan
Hantaviruses: Out of Asia
Other Hantaviruses
Three Billion Years
On the Origin of Viruses
Changes, Concealment, and Trojan Horses
What We Know
How to Stop a Virus
Appendix A: Center for Disease Control Guidelines on Prevention of HPS
Appendix B: Sources of Further Information
Appendix C: Abbreviations
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Review quote

"...In their clearly written book, Of Mice, Men, and Microbes: Hantavirus, Harper and Meyer examine the history of identification of hantaviruses and describe the pathogenesis of the illnesses they cause and their worldwide influence... Readers will finish the book realizing that no infections are new; it is only our recognition of the causes that is new. Readers will also realize that disease and epidemics follow chance encounters among men, mice and associated microbes. Despite their focus on hantaviruses, the authors take readers on a journey to understand the origin and biology of viruses, the coevolution of viruses and their hosts, and humans' fear of new outbreaks and their eventual conquest with new knowledge... anyone interested in hantaviruses will find that this book tells a very complete story. The host, agent, vector, geography,climate, psychology, and cultural responses of the people who are infected are all described. There is much to learn." --Richard Wenzel, M.D., in NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, 2000

"An essential book of those interested in emerging diseases." --P.C. Radich, University of Indianapolis, in CHOICE, 2000

"The authors, one a scientist, the other a journalist, have produced an excellent read for the expert and non-expert alike." --R.C. Spencer in JOURNAL OF ANTIMICROBIAL CHEMOTHERAPY, 1999
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About Andrea S. Meyer

David R. Harper is currently a Lecturer in Molecular Virology at St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London Medical and Dental School. He has worked with viruses since leaving college in 1981, and has authored three textbooks and one laboratory manual. He has also worked as Research Director for Biocontrol Ltd., and has a wide range of teaching experience.
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