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As long as there have been humans, there has been disease - before COVID-19 there was plauge, yellow fever, mad cow disease, and countless other sinister maladies. But with new illness has also come innovation and ingenuity, spurred by a drive to understand and to cure. From the authors of Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything, an NPR Best Science Book of 2017, Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World's Worst Diseases, a fascinating history of disease outbreaks - how they start, how they spread, and the science that ultimately allows us to overcome them.
Written by Dr. Lydia Kang, MD, a practicing internal medicine physician, and Nate Pedersen, a librarian and historian, Patient Zero explores the science and stories behind twenty-nine of the world's worst illnesses, pulling back the curtain on everything from HIV-often erroneously thought to have emerged in the 1980s-to the groundbreaking creation of the first vaccine in the 1790s, to the link between tuberculosis and belief in vampires.
Lydia Kang is an author and internal medicine physician. Her works of historical fiction include A Beautiful Poison, Opium and Absinthe, and The Impossible Girl. She is a graduate of Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, and completed her training at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She lives with her family in the midwest.
Nate Pedersen is a writer, anthologist, and historian in Portland, Oregon. Nates nonfiction has appeared in Mental Floss, The Guardian, Trail Runner, The Art of Manliness, Powells Books and The Believer. He is the Wednesday blogger with Fine Books & Collections, where he is responsible for the Bright Young Things series (Booksellers / Librarians / Collectors). Nate also edited the Lovecraftian anthologies The Starry Wisdom Library: The Catalogue of the Greatest Occult Book Auction of All Time, (PS 2015) and Sisterhood: Dark Tales and Secret Histories.
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