Monday, March 20, 2023

Pg. 99: Leslie Reperant's "Fatal Jump"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Fatal Jump: Tracking the Origins of Pandemics by Leslie Reperant.

About the book, from the publisher:
Exploring the fateful chains of events that gave rise to humanity's infectious diseases and pandemics.

Why do global pandemics materialize? To address this question, we must delve into the world of pathogens that transcend their original host species and jump into new ones. Most pathogens fail to initiate infection or spread in the population when they jump. Only a few sustain onward chains of transmission, and even fewer sustain these indefinitely. Yet the rare pathogens that do make the leap have caused many of humanity's most dangerous infectious diseases.

In Fatal Jump: Tracking the Origins of Pandemics, veterinary disease ecologist Dr. Leslie Reperant investigates mysteries such as how African-originated monkeypox left its home continent, why COVID-19 could threaten measles control, and how pigs' fondness for mangoes enabled the deadly Nipah virus to spread. She shares behind-the-scenes insights into hugely destructive pathogens carried by rats, bats, ticks, and mosquitoes, as well as lesser-known vectors such as prairie dogs and camels. Drawing from the latest research, she discusses whether we can predict these deadly jumps before they happen and what factors—including environmental change, population dynamics, and molecular evolution—enable a zoonotic disease to reach full pandemic status. Rich with recent scientific discoveries and emerging theories, this book spans a diverse range of disciplines, weaving their insights into a holistic view of infectious disease.

With new pathogens emerging at an alarming pace, Fatal Jump reorients our perspective on pandemics from a human-centered standpoint to the bigger picture. We will understand what actions are necessary to control emergence only by recognizing the increasingly global nature of human society and the connections between the planet's environmental health and our own health.
Visit Leslie Reperant's website and follow her on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: Fatal Jump.

--Marshal Zeringue