Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence: From Ancient Times to the Present

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9780816048939: Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence: From Ancient Times to the Present

Epidemic disease has decimated populations and caused great suffering all over the world - and continues to do so, despite the availability of advanced medical treatments. While once life-threatening diseases such as polio, smallpox and cholera have been virtually eliminated, other epidemics have taken their place, posing an equal, if not greater, threat. This encyclopedia traces the roles that diseases have played throughout world history and offers information on more than 700 epidemics and their effects on civilization. Listed alphabetically by location of the outbreak, each entry includes when and where a particular epidemic began, how and why it happened, who it affected, how it spread and ran its course and its outcome and significance. Additional coverage includes information on the factors contributing to the spread of new epidemics and the growing problem of drug-resistant diseases, a foreword written by an expert on infectious diseases, and an appendix listing the entries alphabetically by disease. Diseases and epidemics covered include: smallpox (France, 580); black death (Europe, 1347-1380s); yellow fever (Philadelphia, 1973); Congolese sleeping sickness (Congo, 1895-1906); anthrax, (Russia, 1979/United States, 2001); Malaria (Madagascar, 1987-1988); HIV/AIDS pandemic (worldwide-present); hantavirus (United States, 1993); onchocerciasis (river blindness) (Brazil, 1996); and ebola (Uganda, 2000).

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About the Author:

George Childs Kohn has written and edited numerous reference works, including Dictionary of Wars, The New Encyclopedia of American Scandal, and Dictionary of Historic Documents for Facts On File/Checkmark Books. He lives in Madison, CT.

From Library Journal:

Edited by prolific reference author Kohn (Dictionary of Historic Documents, LJ 5/1/91), this unique encyclopedia provides brief entries on most of the significant epidemics throughout history. A typical entry is less than one page and covers basic facts such as time and location of the outbreak, number of stricken, and any historical significance of the epidemic. A few suggested readings follow each entry, and a comprehensive bibliography of classic and current epidemiological works is included. Additional special features include a time line and a listing of epidemics by geographical area. The biggest drawback to this source is its arrangement. While the book is adequately indexed, most entries are alphabetized according to location of outbreak (e.g., Legionnaires' Disease is located in the "P" section under "Philadelphia 'Legionnaires' Disease' Epidemic"), which makes some articles difficult to locate. But though brief, the articles are also informative, making this a useful ready-reference source for general readers.?Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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