The Logic of Medicine


This modest volume well accomplishes the objectives set out for it by its author in the preface, namely, "to interest and enlighten the general reader, and to provide the doctor, reseerch virologist, and public health authority with a panoramic view of the epidemic behavior of influenza from the earliest historical records to the latest research." The author is a distinguished veterinarian in infectious diseases who has been personally involved in much of the work of which he writes. The book has nine chapters. The first four deal with general background, history, and the major epidemiology of influenza. The next three deal with animal influenza, the versatility of the virus, and the birth of pandemics-excellent chapters in which three prevailing views of the origin of pandemics are clearly presented. These are mutation, adaptation, and hybridization. Along with this reviewer, the author regards an origin of pandemics in the hinterlands of the Eurasian landmass as the most likely source, especially in Mongolia, and the intermixing of man, animals, and birds as the basis for either hybridization or adaptation of influenza virus in this setting to yield a pandemic strain. Chapter eight deals lucidly with current approaches to control-(l) increase resistance by vaccines or drugs; (2) interfere with spread; (3) stop pandemics from emerging. The severe limitations in each of these is indicated. The final chapter brings together new and exciting work on the identification of influenza A viruses in migratory birds and in imported pet birds. These form the basis for his proposed international surveillance program that would seek an understanding of the ecology of influenza viruses in domestic and wild animals and include the stockpiling of the full range of influenza subtypes. The book includes pictures of the major workers in the field, a list of chronological milestones, a glossary of terms, and an index. However, no bibliographic references are given, which will be disappointing to those whose interest has been aroused and who wish to read the original source materials-particularly the newer discoveries in animal and avian influenza. This volume will have a narrow audience but for the public health, veterinarian, and medical students and practitioners interested in infectious diseases, and for the public health administrators concerned with the control of influenza the book can be highly recommended as a clear and up-to-date review of current knowledge. ALFRED S. EVANS Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Yale University School of Medicine

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@article{Black1977TheLO, title={The Logic of Medicine}, author={Henry R . Black}, journal={The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine}, year={1977}, volume={50}, pages={595 - 596} }