Viruses are everywhere, and as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, cannot be ignored. From their discovery to the unravelling of their intricate structures, this Very Short Introduction provides a rounded and concise account of the nature of viruses, how they attack their hosts, and the efforts to control them.
In this new edition, Dorothy Crawford examines the recent rise in emerging virus infections, especially coronaviruses, including the viruses behind SARS and MERS, and SARS CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19. Crawford explores why the SARS-CoV-2 was able to spread rapidly to form a pandemic while others have produced more localized epidemics, as well as looking at the revolution in vaccine production that this has caused. Looking to the future, this Very Short Introduction considers the preventative measures and management of future dangerous viruses that are expected to emerge.
Dorothy H Crawford is Emeritus Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Edinburgh. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She was awarded an OBE for services to medicine and higher education in 2005. Dorothy is the author of The Invisible Enemy (2000), Deadly Companions (2007), Virus Hunt (2013), and Ebola (2016).
Review of the first edition:
"a diminutive volume that provides a surprisinly complete and beautifully readable overview to this topic – all without resorting to specialist jargon."
– The Guardian