The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance Summary & Study Guide

Laurie Garrett
This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Coming Plague.
This section contains 457 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance Summary & Study Guide Description

The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance by Laurie Garrett.

The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance by Laurie Garrett is a very detailed account of the new concerns arising over the possibility of a global plague epidemic. Garrett first discusses a variety of diseases, and then offers several solutions to avoid a global epidemic.

The Coming Plague begins with an introduction that discusses the overall need for global disease tracking and surveillance systems. Next, author Laurie Garrett discusses the outbreak of Bolivian Hemorrhagic Fever in Machupo, as mice were discovered to be the transmitters of the disease. Garrett points out, however, that the infrastructure of the area, decimated by industrialization, played an important role in the increase in the mice population. Next, Garrett examines the "Health Transition," or the push in the 1950s and '60s to eradicate all infectious disease. In Chapter 3, Garrett examines the Margurg virus, yellow fever, and the Brazilian Meningitis epidemic, again stressing the infrastructural issues that helped cause the spread of the diseases. Chapters 4 and 5 discuss the Lassa fever epidemic and the Ebola epidemic of Yambuku. In both cases, again, it is clear that poverty and political instability led to a more rapid spread of the disease.

In Chapter 6, Garrett examines outbreaks of swine flu and Legionnaire's disease in the United States, showing that even industrialized countries were ill prepared for an epidemic. In Chapter 7, Garrett returns to the idea of infrastructural problems as she examines Lassa, Ebola, and their link to the economic and social issues in the world. Chapter 8, highly technical, discusses genetic engineering and the discovery of oncogenes in an effort to explain how these microbes function in human beings. While Chapter 9 focuses on how inner cities help spread disease, Chapter 10 further explores this topic by focusing on STDs and drug use, popular in urban areas. Chapter 11 is Garrett's extensive examination of the origin of HIV, which explains in detail why the disease spread as rapidly as it did. Chapter 12 takes a brief look at TSS, or toxic shock syndrome. Chapter 13 explains how bacteria, viruses, and parasites are becoming drug resistant, and why this is a primary concern for the world health organizations. Chapter 14 discusses the epidemic of social structure, as thirdworldization is looked at in detail, explaining how even modern countries are stepping backward in the fight against disease. In Chapter 15, Garrett examines the hantavirus in the United States, again showing the US is not prepared for epidemics, while Chapter 16 discusses how the changing of the world's climate is leading to increased disease. Finally, in Chapter 17, Garrett examines several possible solutions to the world's health crisis, and offers possible solutions for a world wide health surveillance system.

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This section contains 457 words
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