Dr Leti Kleyn Leti at assaf.org.za
Tue Mar 31 09:17:39 SAST 2020

The best books on past pandemics to read now
>From the Black Death to the 1918 influenza pandemic, COVID-19 is not humanity's first brush with outbreaks. Discover what we can learn from history with Nature's pick of the best histories and analyses of past pandemics.

  *   Historian Frank Snowden argues that infectious diseases have shaped social evolution<https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=4c053a8d17&e=ba31e2f257> no less powerfully than have wars, revolutions and economic crises. (5 min read, from 2019<https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=27435cf8a9&e=ba31e2f257>)
  *   The story of the race to stop a plague epidemic in San Francisco<https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=d7f9de044a&e=ba31e2f257> that broke out in 1900 is a rich history of epidemiology, political wrangling and scientific denialism. (6 min read, from 2019<https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=7553f7dc25&e=ba31e2f257>)
  *   The 1918 influenza pandemic probably infected 500 million people - one-third of the world's population at the time. There was a wide-ranging failure of medicine and governments<https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=0c0542a420&e=ba31e2f257> - which is one reason why its history has been long neglected. (5 min read, from 2017<https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=0211283d36&e=ba31e2f257>)
  *   An analysis of the fraught campaign to contain the 2013-16 Ebola crisis<https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=c5a89e4dba&e=ba31e2f257> reveals the common threads of dysfunction that run through responses to epidemics. (5 min read, from 2018<https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=bd8e4275f0&e=ba31e2f257>)
  *   Rediscover pioneering epidemiologist and anaesthesiologist John Snow and his meticulous mapping of the cholera epidemic<https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=c5a5fbb4c9&e=ba31e2f257> in London. (5 min read, from 2013<https://nature.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=23e80a1de6&e=ba31e2f257>)

Dr Leti Kleyn
Programme Officer: Humanities & STEM Education
Science Advisory Programme
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