Experts predict the next pandemic will hit humanity in the coming two to three decades, possibly sooner: What will it be?
Science writer and nurse Goldsmith (Addiction and Overdose, 2017, etc.) tackles the world of deadly viruses in her latest volume, outlining many of the exacerbating factors. These include increased travel, climate change, destruction of animal habitats, human conflict and overcrowding, and the overuse of antibiotics. The author is frank in explaining that these human activities that contribute to the risk of another pandemic—quite possibly influenza—are unlikely to change in the near future. She dedicates the final section of the book to covering the plans international organizations, such as the World Health Organization and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, are setting in place. These strategies vary from the expected (developing new vaccines) to the eye-opening (creating genetically modified mosquitos to combat dengue fever). Ending on a hopeful note, the book describes what readers can do to help. Origin stories about various outbreaks successfully break up the narrative, which takes a matter-of-fact tone when describing subjects that can easily be sensationalized. Frequent text boxes, color photographs, and diagrams provide additional material without disrupting the general flow.
An informative, readable text that will appeal to those interested in the subject as well as students seeking material for reports. (source notes, glossary, bibliography, further resources, index) (Nonfiction. 12-17)