More than three hundred infectious diseases have emerged or reemerged in new territory during the past fifty years, and ninety percent of epidemiologists expect that one of them will cause a disruptive, deadly pandemic sometime in the next two generations. To reveal how that might happen, Sonia Shah tracks each stage of cholera's dramatic journey from harmless microbe to world-changing pandemic, from its 1817 emergence in the South Asian hinterlands to its rapid dispersal across the nineteenth-century world and its latest beachhead in Haiti. She reports on the pathogens following in cholera's footsteps, from the MRSA bacterium that besieges her own family to the never-before-seen killers emerging from China's wet markets, the surgical wards of New Delhi, the slums of Port-au-Prince, and the suburban backyards of the East Coast. A deep-dive into the convoluted science, strange politics, and checkered history of one of the world's deadliest diseases, Pandemic reveals what the next epidemic might look like--and what we can do to prevent it.
Sonia Shah is a science journalist and prizewinning author. Her writing on science, politics, and human rights has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Scientific American, and elsewhere, and she has been featured on Radiolab, Fresh Air, and TED.com, where her talk "Three Reasons We Still Haven't Gotten Rid of Malaria" has been viewed by more than a million people around the world. Her 2010 book The Fever was long-listed for the Royal Society's Winton Prize for Science Books.