1st Edition

Viral Pandemics From Smallpox to COVID-19

By Rae-Ellen Kavey, Allison Kavey Copyright 2021
    388 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    388 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Written by a public health practitioner and a medical historian, Viral Pandemics explores the terrifying world of viruses as the cause of all acute pandemics since 1900, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The book illuminates the critical dual roles of viral biology and increasing global interconnectedness that have resulted in an escalating pandemic spiral. 

    Viral Pandemics is the first book to focus exclusively on pandemics caused by viruses and the first to report the COVID-19 pandemic. In each chapter, the historiographic narrative follows the path of the virus from its original detection through its first appearance as the cause of disease, to its emergence as an explosive pandemic. Scientific information is presented in an accessible, straightforward style in compelling narratives that introduce the extraordinary universe of diverse, opportunistic viruses whose remarkable capacities make them formidable adversaries. The book makes it clear that global viral disease challenges are a persistent reality with the potential to cause catastrophic loss of life and major social and economic damage. A summary chapter draws together lessons learned and develops a proposed multidisciplinary global response.

    Viral Pandemics is the only book that provides a complete historical narrative focused on viral pandemics. This comprehensive survey is designed for students and scholars in biology, epidemiology, public health, global history and the history of medicine, as well as general readers interested in the science of pandemics.

    1. A Brief Introduction to Virology: Preventing the Unknown. 2. The Smallpox Story: Gone but not Forgotten.  3. Yellow Fever: The Jungle Story  4. The Great Influenza: A Virus for All Time  5. Polio: The Plague of Summer  6. HIV and AIDS: The Never-Ending Story  7. Out of Nowhere: West Nile Virus, SARS, Zika, and Ebola  8. A Way Forward.  9. And Now, as Promised: The 2019 SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Pandemic


    Rae-Ellen W. Kavey, MD, MPH is a pediatric cardiologist and public health practitioner with a career-long commitment to traditional medicine and to a public health approach to prevention of heart disease beginning in childhood. While at the National Institutes of Health, she directed development of the current national guidelines for pediatric cardiovascular health. Author of more than a hundred articles and four book chapters, she is currently a consultant to the NIH Pediatric Heart Network, an instructor in the Department of Medical Humanities at the University of Rochester Medical Center and an adjunct professor in the Department of History at the CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she has been teaching the epidemiology of epidemics to undergraduates.

    Allison B. Kavey, MD, MPH is a professor of history at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the CUNY Graduate Centre. She specializes in early modern history of natural philosophy and has written on alchemy and books of secrets, as well as Agrippa von Nettesheim’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy. She has taught extensively in the history of medicine and written on the history of anatomy, most recently relating to Shelley’s Frankenstein. She holds a doctorate in the history of medicine from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.