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Summary

An inside account of the fight to contain the world's deadliest diseases - and the panic and corruption that make them worse.

Throughout history, humankind's biggest killers have been infectious diseases: the Black Death, the Spanish Flu, and AIDS alone account for over 100 million deaths. We ignore this reality most of the time, but when a new threat - Ebola, SARS, Zika - seems imminent, we send our best and bravest doctors to contain it. People like Dr. Ali S. Khan.

In his long career as a public health first responder - protected by a thin mask from infected patients, napping under nets to keep out scorpions, making life-and-death decisions on limited, suspect information - Khan has found that rogue microbes will always be a problem, but outbreaks are often caused by people. We make mistakes, politicize emergencies, and, too often, fail to imagine the consequences of our actions.

The Next Pandemic is a firsthand account of disasters like anthrax, bird flu, and others - and how we could do more to prevent their return. It is both a gripping story of our brushes with fate and an urgent lesson on how we can keep ourselves safe from the inevitable next pandemic.

©2016 Ali Khan (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about The Next Pandemic

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Good Info-tainment

Worth Giving it a go, lots of little anecdotes, warnings for the future, well written.

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Fascinating

Intriguing story. Well written and narrated.
I found it enjoyable listening to the words of a very capable, educated and professional person, who speaks with humility and modesty.
I listened to this in Feb 2021 and could imagine the author saying “I told you so” (given it was published in 2016).

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  • aaron
  • 24-01-17

Many Outstanding Stories about Many Scary Microbes

This book is a story-friendly retelling of many of Ali's more interesting case studies, while working at the CDC. This guy really encountered some mean little viruses, and the sheer volume of historical science (scientific history?) alone is worth the price of the book. I found Ali's storytelling style to be engaging and quite entertaining. He rarely goes off on tangents, and knows that the reader is interested in the "sizzle" of these afflictions, and not just cold, hard data.

Overall, if you're interested in the history of killer germs, or the potential for said germs to become "viral" and potentially wipe out a sizable section of the population, then this book is for you!

Narrator is great.

102 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 08-03-20

This book was very enlightening and very informative

I read a lot of reviews before buying this book .. I am so glad I didn’t listen to people saying it was political or liberal .. I found this book to be very fact driven .. sometimes people believe that if someone criticizes another view you have to throw out the whole thing .. I think that is a ignorant way of thinking .. that way of thinking is exactly what this book says and why the corona virus is spreading so fast .... misinformation
Great book I would Definitely recommend

17 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel J. DiBona
  • 29-04-20

Vital context

This was written in 2015. Beyond appreciating the kind of work going into infectious disease surveillance, you will gain a deeper understanding of how inept and wrong the US leadership is with its response to the CoVID-19 pandemic. As a retired clinical professor of medicine, I found this audiobook to be refreshing, not as a primer for understanding epidemiological methodology and techniques, but as primary historical data recording the respect and leadership role America used to exhibit in our recent past. Any interested person from middle school forward could easily follow this book, yet it also satisfies someone like me with a lifetime of bedside experience. You will gain deep appreciation of the value disease detectives deliver to mankind. Of course, it cannot help but simultaneously enrage you to glimpse the sophisticated work that had to go into dismantling such an institution, beginning with the fostering of tolerance of those deliberately being manipulated to distrust science and critical thinking.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-09-18

A digestible glimpse into a serious topic

This was interesting, but not quite as engaging as "Get Well Soon," by Jennifer Wright. Both about plagues, infectious diseases, and the like. He tells some pretty cool stories, though! It was nice to hear some personal experiences from a real-life CDC expert.

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  • Cherilyn Parsons
  • 24-04-20

So relevant!

I listened to this book in the middle of the next pandemic, the coronavirus crisis, and everything discussed by the author was so relevant. The book gave me a much deeper picture of the various epidemics around the world in recent history, and a better understanding of epidemiology and prevention. Many times he spoke of things that essentially predicted the current pandemic — its origins, the nature of spread, reasons why certain measures can work for containment... and the book makes the massive failure by the US government in responding to the coronavirus all the more shocking because it didn’t have to be so bad. I’m going to Google the author to see what he’s writing about during this time. I highly recommend this book for insight into current crisis. Also, the narrator was clear, interesting, and easy to listen to. Great job.

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  • vexxin
  • 14-11-19

Good book, good information, too political

This was very well put together with appropriate references for claims the majority of the time. Things started to break down near the end as the author turns to politics and sensationalism, the very things he condemns throughout the book. This only serves to alienate a large part of his audience, nullifying the message he worked hard to present throughout the book.

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  • jrog
  • 18-05-18

If you want to learn about epidemics...this is it!

Excellent book if you're considering a career in public health, particularly epidemiology. Author shares compelling firsthand experience of up close and personal field investigations from simple to incredibly complex. This book confirmed and reinforced my career choice to pursue a career in epidemiology.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Steven Alvarez
  • 05-08-17

Very informative!

This book has a good voice to it and was greatly informative! I learned more about historical outbreaks from this book than any other!

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  • Rashan
  • 23-02-17

whoa!

scary but without trying.
stories told matter-of-factly about many ways to die.
Dr.Kahn did a wonderful job weaving together the backstories of so many health scares i remember.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Catherine Puma
  • 25-10-18

Background Insight into Disease Management

The Next Pandemic by Ali Khan highlights Khan’s experiences with combating certain diseases, especially those that have impacted the United States during his tenure as an epidemiologist with the CDC. Many of these sections took me back to my Infectious Diseases course in college, esp those about malaria, yaws, ebola and gennea worm.

This was really interesting, and I would recommend to anyone interested in epidemiology, infectious diseases, national & international pandemics, first responses to crises, and the politics of organizing large scale responses to global health issues. A science course will be excellent at informing the specifics about how disease is transmitted, it’s effect on the body, virus reservoirs, and vaccine effectiveness. Our science course did talk about government responses to & programs fighting certain outbreaks, but Khan’s personal experience with on the ground organizing & hacking through bureaucratic tape in order to solve these issues was such a clear presentation of the realism when trying to eradicate these diseases. I would recommend to anyone interested in global health response initiatives or anyone curious about how these programs operate.

I do not give this book 5 stars, however, because the Katrina chapter seemed a bit out of place. The CDC played an important role in the aftermath of Katrina and helping the city get necessary supplies to its people, but that anecdote just didn't fit well with the rest of this book. If there were one or two other non-disease outbreaks that were discussed in addition to Katrina, then maybe its inclusion would have made more sense. But in this book as it was published, it just didn't make sense.

24 people found this helpful