2014 Ebola epidemic demonstrated the power of pandemics, their ability to not only destroy lives but also to capture the imagination, innovation in the world. Christian McMillen provides a concise yet comprehensive account of pandemics throughout human history. Illustrates how pandemic diseases have shaped our history, society & social behaviour. Provides unexpected, broader insights into pandemic culture & politics.
Describes history’s major pandemics – plague, tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, cholera, influenza, HIV/AIDS. Highlights how each disease’s biological characteristics affected pandemic development. Discusses state responses to pandemics like quarantine, isolation, travel restrictions. Pays attention to rise of public health, explosion of medical research. Especially as the germ theory of disease emerged. Today, medicine is able to control all of these diseases, yet some are still devastating. By assessing the relationship between poverty & disease, the geography of epidemics, he offers an outspoken, thought-provoking view-point on the necessity for global governments to learn from past experiences to proactively act & co-operate to prevent future epidemics.