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Rabid

A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus
Wasik, Bill (Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Rabid
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Charts the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies, documenting how before its vaccine the disease caused fatal brain infections and sparked the creations of monsters, including werewolves, vampires and zombies.
Authors: Wasik, Bill
Title: Rabid
a cultural history of the world's most diabolical virus
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2012
Characteristics: x, 275 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy
Notes: Includes index
Contents: Looking the devil in the eye
In the beginning
The middle rages
A virus with teeth?
Canicide
King Louis
The zoonotic century
The survivors
Island of the mad dogs
The devil, leashed
Summary: Charts the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies, documenting how before its vaccine the disease caused fatal brain infections and sparked the creations of monsters, including werewolves, vampires and zombies.
Additional Contributors: Murphy, Monica
ISBN: 0670023736
9780670023738
Branch Call Number: 614.563 W3198r 2012
Subject Headings: Rabies Treatment History Rabies Epidemiology History
Topical Term: Rabies
Rabies
LCCN: 2011043903
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Charts the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies, documenting how before its vaccine the disease caused fatal brain infections and sparked the creations of monsters, including werewolves, vampires and zombies.


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Sep 16, 2013
  • Vilka rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Had some good content on the nature of rabies and people's changing perceptions and reactions to it over the centuries, plus a detailed description of the process of developing a rabies vaccine. However, it went off on some fairly long tangents about vampires, werewolves and zombies--and then, for awhile, on Romantic-age authors--that ended up losing the connection between these legends and the rabies virus. Interesting stuff, but have to sift through the tangents.

Mar 28, 2013
  • ClaireM_W rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

An annoying hodgepodge of some good writing (start at the second para of pg 116 for the heroic career of Louis Pasteur) after a whack-load of badly organized science talk. We get a couple good stories again, but the promised topic, rabies through the ages and its effect on humans, is chopped up and tossed in amidst too many diversions. Don’t publishers hire editors anymore? Having said all that, one does learn the weird symptoms of 'hydrophobia', and no one - in a million years - could have made up such a bizarre disease.

Nov 15, 2012
  • BlueMoonGirl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Fascinating read. Really enjoyed learining about rabies. Had never thought about this virus in the ways Wasik portrayed. Recommend.

A very interesting and well researched book.
I would recommend it.

Aug 14, 2012
  • nftaussig rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Bill Wasik, a journalist, and Monica Murphy, a veterinarian with a background in public health trace the history of rabies and discuss how it has influenced our culture. They approach the history in chronological order, tracing its appearance in the historical record, discussing what was known about rabies and the attempts to treat the disease. They also consider how rabies may have influenced legends about vampires, werewolves, and zombies. The early chapters illustrate how little was known about the disease before Louis Pasteur proposed the germ theory of disease and why the disease inspired such fear. The authors give a detailed account of how Pasteur and his assistant, Emile Roux, devised a vaccine for rabies, one of the first accomplishments of evidence-based medicine. Since rabies is a zoonosis, that is, a disease transmitted to humans from animals, the authors briefly discuss the threat posed by other zoonoses - something that is done better in books such as Michael B. A. Oldstone's Viruses, Plagues, and History. More interesting is the authors' discussion of the rare cases in which humans have survived rabies, a disease long thought to have a 100% mortality rate in cases in which the disease has penetrated the brain. The authors conclude by examining recent outbreaks, considering the factors that make the disease difficult to eradicate.

Aug 13, 2012
  • Library_Dragon rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very readable and quick overview of the cultural, historical, and biological aspects of a truly horrible disease.

Jul 28, 2012
  • mswendybe rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

An awesome book. Not at all stuffy, this book will engage you with a look at rabies throughout history.

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Aug 13, 2012
  • nftaussig rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

nftaussig thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Aug 14, 2012
  • nftaussig rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Bill Wasik, a journalist, and Monica Murphy, a veterinarian with a background in public health, trace the history of rabies from ancient Mesopotamia to modern times. They provide an overview of the symptoms of its disease; discuss where it appears in the historical record; demonstrate how poorly the disease was understood until the French scientist Louis Pasteur introduced the germ theory of disease; consider how rabies may have influenced legends about vampires, werewolves, and zombies; discuss how Pasteur and scientists in his laboratory, notably Emile Roux, figured out how to create a vaccination for rabies; consider the threat posed by other zoonoses (diseases, like rabies, that are transmitted to humans by animals); discuss the extremely rare cases in which humans have survived rabies - a disease long thought to have a 100% mortality rate once it reaches the brain; examine a recent outbreak in Bali, focusing on what made it difficult to control; examine what a recent outbreak among racoons in New York and its presence in bats tells us about the difficulty of eradicating the disease.

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app04 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41