Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Researchers Review Historical Pandemics

CNN reports that researchers are reviewing past pandemics to predict the future developments of the H1N1-swine flu virus ("Scientists Dig for Lessons from Past Pandemics" - CNN, April 30, 2009). The primary discovery is that a "more deadly second wave" hits several months after the first onset of a communicable disease outbreak (as seen in 1889, 1918, 1957, and 1968). This situation buys time for development of an H1N1 vaccine. Looking back in time, non-medical interventions such as closing places where people congregate and quarantining affected individuals still definitely slows the spread of disease.

Review selected library titles related to the epidemics at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a book, select the "Request" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to reserve for pick up at the library. Call the library at 281-290-3219 to check your PIN if you do not remember it. Use these subject words and phrases to find more in the library catalog:
  • epidemics
  • communicable diseases
  • emerging infection diseases
  • world health
Do Infectious Diseases Pose a Threat book coverDo Infectious Diseases Pose a Threat? edited by Beverly Engel - Greenhaven Press, 2009.
call number: 362.196 Doi
"Includes essays such as 'The United States is prepared for an influenza pandemic' and 'Computers can predict and prevent epidemics'" - table of contents excerpt

Infectious Disease book coverInfectious Disease: A Scientific American Reader - University of Chicago Press, 2008.
call number: 362.196 Doi
"With sections devoted to viral infections, infectious disease, the immune system, and global management and treatment issues, Infectious Disease provides general readers and students with an excellent overview of recent research in the field." - publisher's summary excerpt

Pandemics and Global Health book coverPandemics and Global Health by Barry Youngerman - Facts On File, 2008.
call number: 614.49 You
"This indispensable book--which rivals even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's web site in accessibility and breadth--is a practical guide to understanding communicable diseases and their transmission modes." - Library Journal review excerpt

Understanding New, Resurgent, and Resistant Diseases book coverUnderstanding New, Resurgent, and Resistant Diseases: How Man and Globalization Create and Spread Illness by Kurt Link - Praeger Publishers, 2007.
call number: 362.196 Lin
"Aimed at a general audience, this volume by Link (a retired medical internist) provides a broad overview of the variety of disease threats that threaten the health and lives of people around the world." - publisher's summary excerpt

The Little Book of Pandemics book coverThe Little Book of Pandemics: 50 of the World's Most Virulent Plagues and Infectious Diseases by Dr. Peter Moore - Collins, 2007.
call number: 614.4 Moo
"Includes headline grabbers such as SARS, avian flu, and anthrax, as well as conditions considered relatively mild in Western countries, such as measles and chicken pox. Basic information is provided in two to four pages and illustrated with a map of where the disease is active, . . . and bar graphs indicating how infectious and severe the disease is, its fatality rate, and how dangerous it would be as a bioweapon." - School Library Journal review excerpt