cover image The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It

The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It

Jonathan D. Quick, with Bronwyn Fryer. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-11777-9

Quick, a senior fellow at Management Sciences for Health, and Fryer, a former senior editor for the Harvard Business Review, lay out a seven-step action plan for stopping epidemics in this informative, if stiff, treatise. The plan is based on their analysis of global response to five epidemics (smallpox, influenza, AIDS, SARS, and Ebola), which have killed more than 500 million people over the last century. The authors urge nations to learn from past mistakes in dealing with killer diseases and to make pandemic prevention a global priority. They argue that this can be accomplished by developing a worldwide early warning system and a network of response teams. Presenting the cost of epidemics both in terms of lives and dollars, Quick and Fryer estimate that countries can expect to spend a trillion dollars over the next decade and that the next worldwide pandemic could cost the global economy up to $2.5 trillion. However, by adopting “the right preventive and response measures at the right times,” that loss will be substantially reduced. Without excess alarmism, Quick and Fryer show that such factors as climate change, terrorism, and the global food system put the next pandemic just around the corner. Agent: Todd Shuster, Aevitas. (Jan.)