A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus
A maddened creature, frothing at the mouth, lunges at aninnocent victim—and with a bite, transforms its prey into another ravingmonster. It’s a scenario that underlies our darkest tales ofsupernatural horror, but its power derives from a very real virus, a deadlyscourge known to mankind from our earliest days. In this fascinatingexploration, journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart fourthousand years in the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies.
The most fatal virus known to science, rabies kills nearly100 percent of its victims once the infection takes root in the brain. Adisease that spreads avidly from animals to humans, rabies has served as a symbol of savage madness and inhuman possession throughout history. Today, itshistory can help shed light on the wave of emerging diseases—from AIDS to SARSto avian flu—with origins in animal populations.
From Greek myths to zombie flicks, from the laboratoryheroics of Louis Pasteur to the contemporary search for a lifesaving treatment,Rabid is a fresh, fascinating, and often wildly entertaining look at oneof mankind’s oldest and most fearsome foes.
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