As Wasik and Murphy warn in their introduction, this book is not for the squeamish. Yet those who are fascinated by how viruses attack the body, by the history of vaccination and by physicians' efforts to save the most desperately ill patients will want to read it. There is also a happy ending: scientists are working to harness rabies as a potent drug delivery vehicle.
This article was originally published with the title "Recommended: Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus" in Scientific American 307, 1, 82 (July 2012)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Anna Kuchment is a contributing editor at Scientific American and a staff science writer at the Dallas Morning News. Previously a reporter, writer and editor with Newsweek magazine, she is also author of The Forgotten Cure, which is about bacteriophage viruses and their potential as weapons against antibiotic resistance.