The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers
An inside account of the fight to contain the world’s deadliest diseases—and the panic and corruption that make them worse
Throughout history, humankind’s biggest killers have been infectious diseases; the Black Death, the Spanish Flu, and AIDS alone account for over one hundred million deaths. We ignore this reality most of the time, but when a new threat (Ebola, SARS, Zika) seems imminent, we send our best and bravest doctors to contain it–people like Dr. Ali S. Khan.
In his long career as a public health first responder—protected by a thin mask from infected patients, napping under nets to keep out scorpions, making life-and-death decisions on limited, suspect information—Khan has found that rogue microbes will always be a problem, but outbreaks are often caused by people. We make mistakes, politicize emergencies, and, too often, fail to imagine the consequences of our actions.
The Next Pandemic is a firsthand account of disasters like anthrax, bird flu, and others and how we could do more to prevent their return. It’s both a gripping story of our brushes with fate and an urgent lesson on how we can keep ourselves safe from the inevitable next pandemic.