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Epidemics and Pandemics

Their Impacts on Human History

Epidemics and Pandemics by J.N. Hays
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Balancing current and historical issues, this volume of essays covers the most significant worldwide epidemics from the Black Death to AIDS. The unstoppable epidemics of AIDS, Ebola fever, and SARS kill many and strike terror into millions more. Headlines regarding mad cow disease devastate the beef industry. The threats of small pox and the plague are no longer just a threat of the Middle Ages. They're back as weapons of war. Great pandemics have resulted in major death tolls and social disruption. Other "virgin soil" epidemics have struck down large percentages of populations with no previous contact with newly-introduced microbes.

Written by a specialist in the history of science and medicine, the essays in this volume discuss pandemics and epidemics affecting Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia, covering diseases in ancient times to the present. Each entry combines biological and social information to form a picture of the significance of epidemics that have shaped world history. The essays are arranged chronologically and further organized under the areas of major pandemics, virgin soil epidemics, disruptive shocks, dramatic examples, and epidemics of symbolic interest. Included are facts about what an epidemic was, where and when it occurred, how contemporaries reacted, and the unresolved historical issues remaining. The high-interest material is written at a level suitable for scholars and the general public.

ABC-CLIO; November 2005
526 pages; ISBN 9781851096633
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Title: Epidemics and Pandemics
Author: J.N. Hays