From Spanish Flu to COVID-19: New book chronicles history of pandemics


Tracing the history of pandemics, a new book sheds light on 10 outbreaks in the last 100 years, including COVID-19, publishers Penguin announced on Tuesday.

Titled “The Pandemic Century”, the book by British medical historian Mark Honigsbaum combines science history, medical sociology and front-line reportage to tell the history of global contagion dating from the Spanish Flu (1918) to the present day coronavirus pandemic.

Other outbreaks that the book covers include the 1924 outbreak of pneumonic plague in Los Angeles, the 1930 ‘parrot fever’ pandemic and the more recent SARS, Ebola, and Zika epidemics.

“Ever since the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, scientists have dreamed of preventing catastrophic outbreaks of infectious disease. Yet, despite a century of medical progress, viral and bacterial disasters continue to take us by surprise, inciting panic and dominating news cycles.

“As we meet dedicated disease detectives, obstructive public health officials, and gifted scientists often blinded by their own expertise, we come face-to-face with the brilliance and medical hubris shaping both the frontier of science – and the future of humanity’s survival,” publishers said in a statement.

The book hit the stands on Tuesday. PTI

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