Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen. BOOK REVIEW: Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. Things happen when humans mess with the environment.
It’s a simple statement, cause and effect. What happens to tiny animal-dwelling organisms (viruses and bacteria) when humans encroach into the territories of their host animals, kill them, and even eat them? They can jump to humans and cause all manner of unpleasant infectious diseases. This jumping over is called spillover, and such infectious diseases are known as zoonotic diseases (or individually as a zoonosis). The complex story of how zoonotic diseases have emerged and are affecting animal and human populations across the globe is the subject of nature writer David Quammen’s new book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic Quammen brings his usual style to Spillover: his global travels as a writer, the story of current research, and the history of science.
Spillover will be released by W.W. While I received a review copy from the publisher, I should note that David Quammen is a friend. Like this: Like Loading... “Spillover” by David Quammen – Aetiology. Regular readers don’t need to be told that I’m a bit obsessed with zoonotic disease.
It’s what I study, and it’s a big part of what I teach. I run a Center devoted to the investigation of emerging diseases, and the vast majority of all emerging diseases are zoonotic. I have an ongoing series of posts collecting my writings on emerging diseases, and far too many papers in electronic or paper format in my office to count. Why the fascination? Zoonotic diseases have been responsible for many of mankind’s great plagues–the Black Death, the 1918 “Spanish” flu pandemic, or more recently, HIV/AIDS. I’ve previously highlighted some of Quammen’s work on this site. “Spillover” is wide-ranging, tackling a number of different infectious agents, including viruses like Nipah, Hendra, and Ebola; bacteria including Coxiella burnetii and Chlamydia psittaci; and parasites such as Plasmodium knowlesi, a zoonotic cause of malaria.
Book review: ‘Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic’ by David Quammen. We kept a bottle of mosquito repellent right next to the back door this summer and made sure the balky screen door was pulled tight each time we came in from the garden.
Firing up the grill in the evening called for long sleeves, long pants and proper shoes, not flip-flops. The mosquitoes in our corner of Washington have always been thick and aggressive. But this year, with the surge in West Nile virus infections, those critters were downright menacing. The precautions we took were familiar: They were the same ones I followed when traveling to far-off tropical locales where malaria-carrying mosquitoes were a danger. But here, literally in my back yard? This should be no surprise, according to the tale David Quammen tells in “Spillover,” his highly engaging exploration of animal infections and the perils they pose for people. These diseases merit our urgent concern. "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic" by David Quammen (W.
His accounts make for colorful reading. ‘Spillover,’ by David Quammen. What a confounding summer it was.
At agricultural fairs across the country, people gathered for the simple pleasure of devouring deep-fried Mars bars were coming down with a once-placid pig virus, a variant of H3N2 influenza. Over 300 cases have been confirmed so far, with at least one death. In Texas and elsewhere, pharmacy shelves are shorn of mosquito repellent thanks to the most serious outbreak of a mosquito-borne bird virus — West Nile — the country has ever seen.
In Massachusetts, high school football games are being canceled for fear of yet another animal microbe, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, currently stalking the state’s residents. That is to say, David Quammen’s meaty, sprawling new book, “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic,” arrives not a moment too soon. Photo Much of the book details Quammen’s prodigious, globe-trotting adventures with microbe hunters in the field, trapping bats in southern China and hysterical monkeys in Bangladesh. C’mon.