Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to dangerous diseases and epidemics
The complete idiot's guide to dangerous diseases and epidemics
Perlin, David.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN : Alpha, [2002]

Physical Description:
xx, 315 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Added Author:
Format :


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Material Type
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RC113 .P47 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC113 .P47 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC113 .P47 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC113 .P47 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Presents information about the origins of infectious diseases; discusses protection and prevention of diseases and bioterrorism; and describes the nature of infectious organisms and how the body deals with infection.

Author Notes

Dr. David S. Perlin is the acting Science Director at the Public Health Research Institute (PHRI) located in New York, NY. Joining the Institute in 1992, David has prolifically published research on infectious diseases in a variety of professional journals and papers. Moreover, in his capacity as director at PHRI, David is frequently asked to educate the public on matters of disease epidemics, bio-terrorism and the immediate threat of anthrax through offering advice and information on radio shows and in newspapers in the New York area.

Ann Cohen is the Public Health Research Institute's Director of Public Affairs. In this capacity, Ann works regularly with those in the scientific community, politics, the media and the lay public to insure PHRI's work is recognized and understood. Besides having written numerous grants, white papers and press releases for PHRI, Ann is also a freelance writer and project editor. She has contributed material to the New York Times, CNN, and a recent series on evolution that has been shown on PBS. She was actively involved in the editorial development of Timebomb (McGraw-Hill; ISBN 0071359249)-a book on multi-drug resistant tuberculosis-and will collaborate in writing The Psychology of the Internet (John Wiley & Sons) in 2002.

Table of Contents

I Understanding The Enemy: Infection And Disease
1 Catching On to Infectious Diseases
What Is an Infectious Disease? Major Outbreaks: Epidemics and Pandemics
Major Public Health Challenges
The Threat of New Diseases
Catching On to the Cycles
2 A History of Infectious Diseases
Disease and Development Go Hand in Hand
Epidemics: The Downside of Travel
Fighting Infection: The Early Years
Early Theories on Causes of Infection
Germ Theory: The Real Story
The Search for Cures
Other Twentieth-Century Advances
Antibiotic Resistance: A Warning Among the Advances
Outlook for the Future
3 The Nature of Infectious Organisms
Bacteria: 3.5 Billion Years Old and Still Kicking
Coming in Contact
Fungal Infections
Parasites: Organisms That Cannot Survive on Their Own
Viruses: Tiny but Dangerous
Protozoa: Single-Celled Organisms That Cause Multiple Diseases
Worms, Worms, Worms
Prions: The Smallest Disease-Causers
4 The Immune Response: How Our Bodies Fight Infections
The Infection Process
Our First Lines of Defense
Innate Immune Response: The Body's Foot Soldiers
Special Forces in Action: The Adaptive Immune Response
Immune System Memory: Long-Lasting Protection from Reinfection
5 Diagnosis and Treatment: Your Doctor's One-Two Punch Against Infection
Diagnosis: The First Step to Getting Better
Cultures: The Art of Growing Diseases
The PCR Revolution
Treating DiseaseâÇ None Too Kindly
Antibiotics: Natural Weapons Against Bacterial Diseases
Treating Viral Infection
Dealing with Fungi and Parasites
Prevention Is the Best Medicine
6 Epidemics of the Past
Smallpox: 12,000 Years of Terror
The Black Death: Bubonic Plague
Influenza: A Twentieth-Century Epidemic
II Raging Epidemics
7 A Modern Pandemic: HIV/AIDS
The Birth of a Disease
From Epidemic to Pandemic
Where Did HIV Come From? First Human HIV Infection
Early Anti-HIV Therapy
You've Got to Have HAART
Diagnosing HIV Infection
HIV Vaccine: The Holy Grail of Containment
Natural Resistance to HIV Infection
Lessons Learned
8 A Disease Without Boundaries: Tuberculosis
An Ancient Scourge That Still Kills Today
Tuberculosis: Airborne Nightmare
Treating TB
TB Is a Global Peril
Factors Contributing to the Rise of TB
9 Still Going Strong After All These Years: Malaria
A Brief History of Malaria
A Nasty Parasite
Transmission: Mosquito Marauder and a Deadly Cycle
Fever and Ague: Malaria's Symptoms
Sickle Cell Anemia: Natural Resistance at a Price
Diagnosing Malaria
A Frustrating, Yet Curable, Disease
Malaria's Many Costs
Prevention and Cure
Efforts to Combat Malaria
A Malaria Vaccine?
10 Sleeping with the Enemy: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Our Current Situation
Reducing the Chance of Infection
Chlamydia: The Most Common STD
Genital Herpes: Lifelong Infection
Genital Warts and HPV
Syphilis: A Sexual Scourge with a Long History
Yet Another Nasty STD: Gonorrhea
11 An Alphabet Soup of Infections: Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis A: Thriving in Unsanitary Conditions
Hepatitis E: The Hepatitis A Copycat
Hepatitis B: 300 Million Carriers and Growing
Hepatitis C: The Silent Killer
Hepatitis G: The New Virus on the Block
Hepatitis H, I, and J?
III Hot Viruses And Other Killer Bugs
12 Not-So-Fun Fungal Infections
The Fungus Among Us
When a Good Thing Goes Bad
Types of Infection
Fungal Infections of the Skin
Fighting Fungus
13 Watery Deaths: Cholera and Dysentery
Cholera: Scourge of the Poor
Epidemic Dysentery
14 Mosquito and Tick-Borne Diseases
Yellow Fever
West Nile Encephalitis
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Lyme Disease
15 Preying on the Young: Childhood Diseases
Why the Young? The Polio Panic
A Pox on the Young: Chickenpox
"Mommy, My Ear Hurts"
Measly Measles
Down in the Dumps with Mumps
The "R" in MMR: Rubella
Deadly Diphtheria
Pertussis, or Whooping Cough
Terrifying Tetanus
The Importance of Childhood Vaccination
The Common Cold
Kiss and Tell: Infectious Mononucleosis
16 Vacationers' Nightmares: Tropical Diseases
Leishmaniasis: The Sand Fly's Bug
Giardiasis: A One-Celled Wonder
Schistosomiasis: Snail Fever
African Sleeping Sickness
River Blindness
17 Meals You'll Never Forget: Food-Borne Diseases
E coli 0157:H7
It's a Mouthful: Camphylobacter
Salmonella (No, It's Not Named After the Fish)
Deadly Shigella
Looking for Listeria
Trichinosis: It's Not Kosher
Preventing Food-Borne Illness
18 Rare and Terrifying: Ebola and Other Dangerous Diseases
Blood Gushing Out of Every Orifice: Hemorrhagic Fevers
Ebola: Africa's Bloody Disease
Marburg: Not Just a German City
Hantavirus: Four Corners, United States
Mad Cow Disease: Crazy Cows
CJD: Mad Cow's Human Counterpart
Legionnaire's Disease: A Deadly Convention
19 Common Diseases with an Infectious Twist: Ulcers and Viral Cancers
Taking the Stress out of Stomach Ulcers
Viral Cancers
IV Scourges Of Our Own Creation
20 Bioterrorism: Weaponizing Nature
Biological Warfare: A Brief History
America's Anthrax Nightmare
Tularemia: Rabbit Fever
Botulism: Not Just Food Poisoning
Keeping the Terror at Bay
21 Drug-Insensitive Bugs: Antibiotic Resistance
We Won the Battle, but What About the War? Antibiotic Resistance
What Can We Do?
22 Kicking Patients When They're Down: Hospital Infections
The New Breed of Uber-Bacteria
Windows of Opportunity
How Hospital Infections Spread
When a Sick Patient Gets Even Sicker
The Power of Soap and Water
Tackling a Difficult Problem
Identifying Infections
23 Diagnosing the Future
Improving Public Health Measures
Communication Is Key
The Impact of Genome Sequencing
Drug Development and the Human Genome
Gene Therapy
The Importance of Basic Research
V Appendixes
Appendix A Disease Diction: A Glossary
Appendix B References