Henrica C. W. de Vet is a Professor of Clinimetrics in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research at VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam.
Caroline B. Terwee is an Assistant Professor of Clinimetrics in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research at VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam.
Lidwine B. Mokkink is a Research Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research at VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam.
Dirk L. Knol is an Assistant Professor of Statistics in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research at VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam.
It is within this context that the Center for Statistics (CenStat, I-Biostat, Hasselt University) and the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination and the Centre for Health Economic Research and Modelling Infectious Diseases (CEV, CHERMID, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp) have collaborated over the past 15 years. This book demonstrates the past and current research activities of these institutes and can be considered to be a milestone in this collaboration.
This book is focused on the application of modern statistical methods and models to estimate infectious disease parameters. We want to provide the readers with software guidance, such as R packages, and with data, as far as they can be made publicly available.
Over the past fifty years, more than three hundred infectious diseases have either newly emerged or reemerged, appearing in territories where they’ve never been seen before. Ninety percent of epidemiologists expect that one of them will cause a deadly pandemic sometime in the next two generations. It could be Ebola, avian flu, a drug-resistant superbug, or something completely new. While we can’t know which pathogen will cause the next pandemic, by unraveling the story of how pathogens have caused pandemics in the past, we can make predictions about the future. In Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond, the prizewinning journalist Sonia Shah—whose book on malaria, The Fever, was called a “tour-de-force history” (The New York Times) and “revelatory” (The New Republic)—interweaves history, original reportage, and personal narrative to explore the origins of contagions, drawing parallels between cholera, one of history’s most deadly and disruptive pandemic-causing pathogens, and the new diseases that stalk humankind today.
To reveal how a new pandemic might develop, Sonia Shah tracks each stage of cholera’s dramatic journey, from its emergence in the South Asian hinterlands as a harmless microbe to its rapid dispersal across the nineteenth-century world, all the way to its latest beachhead in Haiti. Along the way she reports on the pathogens now following in cholera’s footsteps, from the MRSA bacterium that besieges her own family to the never-before-seen killers coming out of China’s wet markets, the surgical wards of New Delhi, and the suburban backyards of the East Coast.
By delving into the convoluted science, strange politics, and checkered history of one of the world’s deadliest diseases, Pandemic reveals what the next global contagion might look like— and what we can do to prevent it.