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Influenza: The Hundred-Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  33 reviews
On the 100th anniversary of the devastating pandemic of 1918, Jeremy Brown, a veteran ER doctor, explores the troubling, terrifying, and complex history of the flu virus, from the origins of the Great Flu that killed millions, to vexing questions such as: are we prepared for the next epidemic, should you get a flu shot, and how close are we to finding a cure?

While influenz
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 18th 2018 by Touchstone
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Jeanette
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simply perfect. Not only does he inform but he also is honest. Actually, he is the most honest medical doctor to express his knowledge and a condition in print that I have come across yet. And I read medical as a group- both public deemed and "in group" heavy textbook criteria testing. In this field especially, I've read dozens over the years since 1976.

This book is absolutely the best of those which core the topic of the disease that has killed more humans than any other. More than plague, mor
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Janet
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

Dr Jeremy Brown, a veteran ER doctor, explores the troubling, terrifying, and complex history of the flu virus, from the surprising origins of the 1918 flu that killed millions, to vexing questions such as: are we prepared for the next epidemic, should you get a flu shot, and how close are w
...more
Dawn Michelle
HOW do you review a book like this? I could absolutely do a term paper on this book and with a little more research and a few more notes [than what I already took], I could write a research paper on this book. But a review for Goodreads and NetGalley? THAT will be a little more difficult. So I am going to give it my best attempt [and I am sure this will be edited quite a bit while I am writing it] and I will hope for the best.

I will say to start, that this was one of the best books I have read
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David
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-sci-med
Here's an idea: on the 100-year anniversary of the Spanish flu pandemic, a history of the flu written by an actual doctor. In this case, a medical doctor who actually has seen perhaps hundreds of cases of the flu himself provides an interestingly unique viewpoint. He's also a good writer.

Although the title and marketing of this book might lead you to believe it is about the 1918 pandemic, it really isn't.

It is about influenzas generally, and travels back and forth in time (without being at all
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chan

3.75/5 stars
Content includes depictions of severe cases of influenza and suicide

"I've been thinking heavily about the flu for twenty years," said [Jeff] Taubenberger, the man who knows more about the flu than anyone, "and I know nothing."

I wanted to read this book, because I am fascinated with everything that has something to do with bacteria, viruses and infectious diseases and I love to learn new things, but I didn't expect this read to be this engaging. It really took me by surprise; I mean,

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Kate
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The 1918 epidemic has always held a fascination for me so I have read pretty much any book around on the subject. This one only touches on it lightly. It is written by a doctor and each chapter details a period of history and the effects that influenza epidemics had on the people, also the treatments etc. It got a bit dry towards the end with stats and whatnot. What was truly interesting was the politics and financial dealings around so call 'cures' for influenza. For example, he talks about ant ...more
Deborah Stevens
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A worldwide pandemic disease, untreatable and often fatal, with a dodgy vaccine that many people do not choose to get?

Not Station Eleven dystopian fiction, but an account of the Spanish Flu of 1918, and lots of information on present day flu bugs, treatments, policies, etc.

Well-researched and credible, but also very readable. Recommended for anyone with an interest in medicine, science, or whether to get a fu vaccination! Thanks to NetGalley and Touchstone for an ARC in exchange for my honest r
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Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Influenza: The Hundred Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History by Jeremy Brown is a very highly recommended, fascinating exploration of the history of the flu virus and the search for a cure.

The 1918 Flu pandemic left an estimated 50 to 100 million people dead worldwide. Ever since then the search has been on to find a cure before the outbreak another world wide influenza pandemic. Brown discusses where the 1918 flu may have started (we don't know for certain) and the various cures th
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Andrea
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow. Great book. The author is successful at explaining why influenza is a very complicated thing medically. He enumerated many of the medical descriptions of what the flu is, how does it grow and attack the body on a cellular level, as well as the constantly evolving virus. He strikes the nearly impossible balance of retaining the medical explanation and putting it in terms that a non-medical person can understand. I’ve read several books about the 1918 pandemic but none have covered it on a cl ...more
Jan
I'm not certain who will benefit most from this book. The very beginning could be quite off putting to the general public while paramedicals like me are entranced. Lots of it is easily comprehensible to most, while some sections might make some folks glassy eyed. Yet you ask why I recommend it to everyone.
Simple. Historians, research minded, descendants, patients, and those in paramedical fields will benefit from the research and perspectives laid out in this book. Whether you want to know ho
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Janet
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

Dr Jeremy Brown, a veteran ER doctor, explores the troubling, terrifying, and complex history of the flu virus, from the surprising origins of the 1918 flu that killed millions, to vexing questions such as: are we prepared for the next epidemic, should you get a flu shot, and how close are w
...more
Ron
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Influenza by Dr. Jeremy Brown

I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
2018 is the 100th anniversary of the Influenza pandemic of 1918 that killed 50 to 100 million people worldwide and infected as many as a third of the world’s population. Dr. Brown not only documents the events of 1918 but more importantly explores research and breakthroughs in the field since then. With this added knowledge, he lets the reader ponder whether another
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Anett Kovacs
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-y
Note: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.

ER doctor Jeremy Brown explores a century of flu in Influenza: The Quest to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History . From the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which didn't even start in Spain to the 2009 H1N1 "pandemic", which, to be precise, wasn't really a pandemic, the author gives a very thoroughly researched account of the history of the influenza virus and humanity's relationship with it. He focuses on the 1918 strain, describes the journey of
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Nannette
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Influenza: The Hundred Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History
Audiobook – Unabridged
Dr. Jeremy Brown (Author)
Holter Graham (Narrator)
Simon & Schuster Audio (Publisher)

Dr. Jeremy Brown has written an easy to read history of the influenza virus that reads like the best of detective fiction. His writing combined with Holter Graham's warm narration make a very approachable look at a fascinating and frankly terrifying subject. It is an audiobook that I will listen to again.

Many reade
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The Irregular Reader
Jeremy Brown brings the focus of an ER physician to his history of the annual malady we are all so familiar with. On the 100 year anniversary of the 1918 "Spanish" Flu pandemic, Brown examines the nature of that strain, and of the influenza virus itself.

Brown gives us an on-the-ground look at flu season, the flu vaccine, and how (un)prepared we are for another pandemic the likes of 1918.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the book deals with the approach to treating the flu in 1918, well before
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Glenda
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Influenza” is a fascinating look at the history of flu outbreaks and both the medical and political implications of medical research and health policy. The historical account of the flu epidemic of 1918 is interesting, but the ways the pharmaceutical industry has manipulated public policy is important, particularly in regard to Tamiflu, the anti-viral drug the CDC has stockpiled and once hailed as a miracle cure for the flu. The book is short but packed w/ important information about how to tre ...more
Liz M.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4/5

Note: I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a fascinating read that draws you in immediately, which is very much unique for a work of nonfiction. The author and doctor gives an informative and honest history of influenza. The authors keeps the details quite easy to understand and engaging and touches upon controversial topics such as government involvement, the pharmaceutical industry, and medical research.

I highly recommend this engaging book to all human
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Tammam Aloudat
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A comprehensive and straight forward history and state of influenza for the non-specialist. The book is very well written and covers a wider range of influenza-related topics from the history of the past century since the great Spanish flu pandemic to the vaccinations, medicines, and business of influenza now. It is a good read and would give some answers although it does not go deeply in any of the topics.
Andi
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating!! I learned quite a lot about the history of influenza, specifically about the 1918 outbreak. Dr. Brown’s writing is compelling, understandable, and eye-opening. I definitely recommend reading it.
Debbie Jacob
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A reader-friendly, scientific look at the flu and its history. I quite enjoyed discussions about statistics that could be understood by the average reader.
Riann
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating read! I learned about the flu virus, past pandemics, what we've done to combat the flu and what we still need to learn. Hopefully, one day there will be a cure for the flu!
Alec
Interesting for sure, but the information felt belabored at times.
Molly Jane
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review coming on 31st January :)
Aishuu
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
A more scientifically based history of the influenza - a lot of tales I've seen before, but told by a medical doctor rather than a historian. Interesting, but not revolutionary.
Kathy
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
J.J.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medicine, non-fiction
Part history, part advocacy this is an interesting and quick read on the virus itself and what countries like the UK and US have done and can do to help eradicate it.
Jess
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, this book is fantastic. When I did manage to pry myself away from it, I could not stop thinking about the flu!

Dr. Jeremy Brown is not only knowledgeable in his field, but performs outstanding research and is a talented writer. Trained at the University College School of Medicine in London and a doctor of emergency medicine, Dr. Brown has seen his fair share of the flu. He weaves modern medical science (in layman's language for the everyday reader) with the history of influenza, the p
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Patriciachailey
rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2019
Stefan Mitev
rated it really liked it
Dec 24, 2018
Whitney Archer
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Jan 11, 2019
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Dr. Jeremy Brown trained at University College School of Medicine in London and completed his residency in emergency medicine in Boston. He was the Research Director in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University before moving to the National Institutes of Health, where he now directs its Office of Emergency Care Research. His opinion pieces have been published in The New ...more