Patient Zero

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A book review of Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Pandemics by Marilee Peters (Revised Edition)

A book review of Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Pandemics by Marilee Peters (Revised Edition)

Stars: *****

Annick Press (2021)
Teen/Young Adult Science/History/Diseases
192 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: Engrossing true stories of the pioneers of epidemiology who risked their lives to find the source of deadly diseases—now revised to include updated information and a new chapter on Covid-19.

More people have died in disease epidemics than in wars or other disasters, but the process of identifying these diseases and determining how they spread is often a terrifying gamble. Epidemiologists have been ignored, mocked, or silenced all while trying to protect the population and identify “patient zero”—the first person to have contracted the disease, and a key piece in solving the epidemic puzzle.

Patient Zero tracks the gripping tales of eight epidemics and pandemics—how they started, how they spread, and the fight to stop them. This revised edition combines a brand-new design with updated information and features diseases such as Spanish Influenza, Ebola, and AIDS, as well as a new chapter on Covid-19.

Patient Zero

This book was very interesting. It’s designed for teens and young adults but I’m almost 38 and I learned a lot. I love children’s and teen nonfiction.

If you or your teen has questions about Covid-19 or other epidemics and pandemics that have happened in the past, this is the perfect book for that. It’s full of colour photos and side bars with important and interesting information.

Deadly Diseases and Plagues

The book teaches about Black Death, Cholera, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Spanish Influenza, Ebola, AIDS and COVID-19. These of course aren’t the only ones but they are the ones that affected large amounts of people and/or the whole world. In some cases, I knew about the original outbreaks but didn’t know about later ones. I had heard the term Typhoid Mary but didn’t know the actual story of her.

This book was originally published in 2014 but was updated for 2021 with information on COVID-19. It is current as of January 2021.

NOTE: The book is labelled for ages 10-14 but I would recommend 13 and up. There are scary discussions about some of the grosser and upsetting symptoms from these diseases.

Example: (WARNING: Gross words ahead. Read at your own risk.)

” The virus that had infected Mabalo was causing his internal organs to disintegrate into a soupy mess that seeped from his orifices and through his skin. “

– pg 113 Ebola

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.

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