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Publisher's 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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • aaron
  • los angeles, CA, United States
  • 01-24-17

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.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Paying attention

Our attitude of 'oh that couldn't happen here' is not true. We should pay attention to those silly signs like wash your hands, cover your mouth, and other things your mom told you. Don't worry about the bombs. Worry about the bugs

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Informative, entertaining, and inspiring.

Great public health book that's engaging to experts and lay persons alike - and relevant to all. The personal anecdotes from the front lines of outbreaks make for entertaining adventures.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating piece on public health

Excellent reader and well researched material. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the Insight it gives to the possible future of Public Health.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • robert
  • heber, UT, United States
  • 06-20-18

A real page turner ?

The book gives a 2000 ft view / history of the authors travels to different parts of the globe dealing with different outbreaks. The author describes such inovative ideas as " the next pandemic is only a 32 hour flight away", " climate change is leading to more disease, or "don't use antibiotics for the common cold or a sore throat unless it's strep" etc.. if those ideas gun your engine this books for you. The book is basic stuff, nothing new. Another problem is the politics of the author. Anyone who spends a career sucking off the government teat will have a big government bent. I get it, I expect it but he was just a bit to nauseating. When he talks about going out and into remote villages and helping the tribes set goals etc. I'm thinking, these guys are intuitive people, they aren't desk Jockeys. Hell show them a picture of Guinea worm, give them the filter and get the hell out. They are smart people they understand, they don't need big brother helping them " set goals" and do spread sheets. There are interesting parts of the book. The author has lived with this and traveled far and wide. He's at his best when discussing ebola and flu shots. Unfortunately when he discusses things outside of his expertise, it sounds like a totally different voice. It's ridiculous in some parts , which makes me wonder if the editor wrote them. I say that because things like ( to paraphrase)" the average person in New Orleans only makes 15k a year and many can't afford a tv". I lived in New Orleans east in the 90s where I lived was as poor as New Orleans gets outside of the projects. I can tell you every person had a tv. Every one, and we all knew it was going to flood someday. It was a calculated risk. Many of those who stayed were waiting for the monthly welfare checks. New Orleans was a failure of (the French for building below sea level obviously but really) individuals first , local government second, state government third and Federal government last. The governor must ask for assistance . He makes the statement "individuals feel like their government should protect them" in the context that we need more, bigger and better government. That was a fundamental problem there and why so many died! Take some self responsibility. He also claims that " after Katrina that will never happen again". There's no way he wrote this stuff.. Not someone who's traveled and read history. I also couldn't help thinking about the ban on DDT and the hundreds of millions of lives of Black African children resulting from that "political" decision. The science worked, they had a 2 week hearing and every scientist was against the ban since " not 1 person has died from it". But the Nixon administration was fearful of overpopulation "to many poor blacks in Africa". Maleria wasn't mentioned much In the book. That was our gift to Africa, "we eliminated Maleria in the US with DDT but now you can't use it or you can't get "charity" from us ". I got this on the daily deal so 2.5 stars for what I paid. Richard Preston is infinitely more enjoyable. His stuff is page turning and you'll have no idea where he falls politically when your finished.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • Durham, NC, USA
  • 06-17-18

Retrospective look at CDC and global health

What an incredible career! This retrospective into Ali Khan’s career in public health was riveting. It’s frank and graphic so he tells it like it was. As a former healthcare provider myself, I found it well done and very well narrated. Certainly brings up a lot to think about.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Review

Very informative and interesting until the Last! Hate when they sneak in their political opinion!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • 02-16-17

Good Info-tainment

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-02-18

Couldn't recommend this more highly. So good!!!

Seriously the best audiobook I've ever listened to. The narrative is exceptional, the topic is so intriguing, the reader is very easy to listen to.