Anthony Daniels

Going Viral

Influenza: The Quest to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History

By

Text Publishing 258pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Everyone knows that more people died in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic than were killed in the First World War: an estimated fifty million. What is more, many people fear that it could all happen again, given the influenza virus’s ability to mutate dangerously and the absence of either a fully effective vaccine to prevent it or a treatment to cure it.

In this laudably succinct but wide-ranging book, in which he only occasionally gives way to the temptations of the sensational and the demotic (the use of the latter being now almost de rigueur in books of popular science), Jeremy Brown, a specialist in emergency medicine who is more than familiar with the huge number of additional patients during the flu season, covers all aspects of the disease and its impact. He does so in such a way as to make everything comprehensible to the general reader, and I suspect that even many specialists will learn something that they did not know before. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Peters was unashamed and evidently unshamable, an impostor who wholly inhabited his fabrications and who indignant… ,
    • ‘At every waking moment Barbara Hepworth was aware of herself as a woman paving the way in a man’s world’ From the… ,
    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,