This is the only book that tells both sides of the story of germs: that they are critically important for our health and that the dangers of emerging pathogens continue to wreak havoc in our bodies and around the world. With straight-forward and engaging writing, infectious diseases physician Phillip Peterson surveys how our understanding of viruses has changed throughout history, from early plagues and pandemics to more recent outbreaks like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika, and Coronavirus. Microbes also takes on contemporary issues like the importance of vaccinations in the face of the growing anti-vaxxer movement, as well as the rise of cutting-edge health treatments like fecal transplants. Peterson relays his first-hand experience dealing with an unprecedented emergence of new microbial threats. Yet at the same time he has witnessed the astounding recent discoveries of the crucial role of the microbes that colonize our body surfaces in human health. Microbes explains for general readers where these germs came from, what they do to and for us, and what can be done to stop the bad actors and foster the benefactors.
About the Author
Phillip K. Peterson, M.D. is professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he served as an infectious diseases specialist for four decades. He is a former director of the Infectious Diseases and International Medicine Division in the Department of Medicine. He is a fellow of the American College of Medicine and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. In 2011, Peterson was awarded the Gold Award for Distinguished Achievement in Research by his alma mater, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.