Rabid: a cultural history of the world's most diabolical virus

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Pub. Date:
2012.
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English
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This is an engrossing and lively history of a fearsome and mythologized virus.In the tradition of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Great Influenza, journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies. In the absence of vaccination-as was true up until the late nineteenth century-the rabies virus caused brain infections with a nearly 100 percent fatality rate, both in animals and in humans, and the suffering it inflicted became the stuff of legend.The transmission of the virus-often from dog to man-reawakened a primal fear of wild animals, and the illness' violent symptoms spoke directly to mankind's fear of the beast within. The cultural response was to create fictional embodiments of those anxieties-ravenous wolfmen, bloodsucking vampires, and armies of mindless zombies.From the myth of Actaeon to Saint Hubert, from the laboratories of the heroic and pioneering Louis Pasteur to a journalistic investigation into the madness that has gripped modern-day Bali, Rabid is a fresh, fascinating, and often wildly entertaining look at one of the world's most misunderstood viruses.
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ISBN:
9780670023738
9781481592550
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Grouped Work ID 2f53a8d0-e7e3-4608-cb3b-6c8565f85780
full_title rabid a cultural history of the worlds most diabolical virus
author wasik bill
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-11-24 04:42:47AM

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auth_author2 Heller, Johnny., Murphy, Monica.
author Wasik, Bill.
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display_description

A maddened creature, frothing at the mouth, lunges at an innocent victim—and with a bite, transforms its prey into another raving monster. It's a scenario that underlies our darkest tales of supernatural horror, but its power derives from a very real virus, a deadly scourge known to mankind from our earliest days. In this fascinating exploration, journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart four thousand years in the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies.

The most fatal virus known to science, rabies kills nearly 100 percent of its victims once the infection takes root in the brain. A disease that spreads avidly from animals to humans, rabies has served as a symbol of savage madness and inhuman possession throughout history. Today, its history can help shed light on the wave of emerging diseases—from AIDS to SARS to avian flu—with origins in animal populations.

From Greek myths to zombie flicks, from the laboratory heroics of Louis Pasteur to the contemporary search for a lifesaving treatment, Rabid is a fresh, fascinating, and often wildly entertaining look at one of mankind's oldest and most fearsome foes.

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subject_facet Rabies -- Epidemiology -- History, Rabies -- Treatment -- History
title_display Rabid : a cultural history of the world's most diabolical virus
title_full Rabid : a cultural history of the world's most diabolical virus / Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy, Rabid A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus, Rabid [electronic resource] : a cultural history of the world's most diabolical virus / by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy
title_short Rabid :
title_sub a cultural history of the world's most diabolical virus
topic_facet History, Medical, Nonfiction, Science