Written by a leading epidemiologist, this engrossing book answers our questions about animal diseases that jump to humans – called zoonoses – including why they have become more common in recent history, and what we can do about them.
Almost all pandemics and epidemics – including SARS, Ebola and now COVID-19 – have been caused by diseases that come to us from animals. In On Pandemics, David Waltner-Toews gathers the latest research to profile dozens of illnesses.
Why do zoonotic diseases jump from animals to humans – and why do some hang around for good? How have governments responded to pandemics and epidemics throughout history, for better or worse? How have climate change, industrialised farming, cultural practices, biodiversity loss and globalisation made these diseases not only possible, but the inevitable outcomes of our modern lifestyles?
Coronaviruses have made bats their home for centuries. Until SARS came along, we didn’t know they were there, nor do we know how many other death-dealing viruses might be living undetected in wildlife. On Pandemics examines the increasing impact of animal-borne diseases on our world, and encourages us to re-examine our role in pandemics – for the health of the planet as well as our own survival.