Books : reviews

Barry C. Fox.
An Introduction to Infectious Diseases.
Great Courses. 2015

rating : 3 : worth reading
review : 31 July 2021

This is the course guidebook that accompanies the 24 lecture “Great Course” of the same name. It is essentially an abbreviated transcript of each lecture, a few diagrams, suggested reading, and some questions to consider. (I watched the lectures, which is what I am reviewing here, and am using the book simply as an aide-memoire.)

Fox covers a wide range of infectious diseases, caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and spread by a variety of routes. He covers the biochemical mechanisms, the historical context, epidemics and pandemics, the action of the immune system, treatments from vaccines to antibiotics, and the evolution of antibiotic resistance.

It was interesting watching this during the Covid pandemic lockdown. In his final lecture, Fox predicts the next pandemics, and gets it mostly right, from the origin to the transmission route, but plumps for influenza rather than a SARS-based illness. So, something new to look forward to, then!