The ongoing COVID-19 disaster―and the universal realization of the inevitability of even worse pandemics in the future―has resulted in a wealth of books, scientific papers, and journalistic analyses of the politics, medicine, and human suffering. The Nature of Pandemics is not an outcrop of COVID-19 publication frenzy. Conceived in the period between the outbreaks of SARS and Ebola, the book addresses the critical, but commonly overlooked issues that limit readiness, recognition, and rapid response to emerging biodisasters.

The book is unique in its approach to pandemics. It offers a holistic view of the nature of pandemics as a phenomenon, and of the challenges involved in mounting an organized, concerted response to a worldwide lethal bioevent. Most healthcare professionals at national and international levels recognize the danger; the political efforts to establish consistently effective countermeasures are sporadic and dissonant when they do occur. The slow and politically safe approach, the failure to react quickly, and unhesitatingly mobilize all resources, remain the paramount obstacles to the effective containment of a pandemic.

The individual chapters of the book are written by internationally respected experts from Africa, Europe, and North and South America. The contributing authors represent a cross-section of professions involved in counter-pandemic activities: some operate at the highest levels of national and international institutions, others work as clinicians specializing in infectious diseases, scientists, experts in public health, law and its enforcement, or military aspects of pandemics. Their contributions, often highly personal and perhaps even controversial—supported by their involvement in the "front-line" challenges of pandemic containment and mitigation—provide a rare combination of first-hand knowledge of the current "state of the art" and recommendations for the implementation of best practices.

The Nature of Pandemics offers multifaceted insight into problems that, if ignored initially, come to mar all subsequent response and mitigation efforts. The content spans solutions to developing readiness and mobilizing response as much to the current pandemic as to the future ones. Addressing government-generated roadblocks to response, military and security issues, global supply chain infrastructure, communications, information technology, ethical dilemmas posed by vacillating quality of care—and the inevitable mass fatalities—together with the confused interaction of global health organizations and response agencies, the book examines the panoply of complexities not only at the center of a pandemic outbreak but also at its equally critical and deadly periphery.

section Section I|86 pages

Emerging Infectious Diseases

chapter Chapter 1|16 pages

Politics, Economics, and Egos

When Agendas Conflict—A West African Case Study
ByJohn Jordan

chapter Chapter 2|36 pages

The Socioeconomic and Security Challenges in Responding to Medical Emergencies—Pandemics or Disasters—in Post-Conflict Society

The Liberian Ebola and COVID-19 Pandemic Experiences
BySaint Jerome Larbelee

chapter Chapter 3|21 pages


Nature of an Emerging Global Threat: Preparedness in the African Context
ByDoudou Fall

chapter Chapter 4|10 pages

Predicting Mosquito-Borne Epidemics in Latin America

ByJaime R. Torres

section Section II|28 pages

Prevention of Future Pandemics

chapter Chapter 5|26 pages

The PREDICT Project

A Transdisciplinary Case Study in Partnerships for Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness
ByDavid J. Wolking, Jonna A.K. Mazet

section Section III|47 pages

Managing Pandemics/Disasters

chapter Chapter 6|9 pages

An Administrator's Nightmare

BySteven D. Berkshire, Asa B. Wilson

chapter Chapter 8|25 pages

Supply Chain Infrastructure in Global Health Systems

A Strategic Asset for Pandemic Preparedness
ByAnne Snowdon, Alexandra Wright

section Section IV|73 pages


chapter Chapter 9|29 pages

Emerging Infectious Disease Communication Strategies of Health Organizations

An Internal and External View
ByAnat Gesser-Edelsburg

chapter Chapter 10|16 pages

From Woe to Go

Understanding Rumours and their Role in Preparedness and Readiness for Pandemics
ByJudith Molka-Danielsen, Susan Balandin

chapter Chapter 11|25 pages

An Exploration of the Lived Experience of African Journalists during the 2014 Ebola Crisis

ByAnne Edimo, Blanche Morel, David M. Secko

section Section V|112 pages

Information Technology

chapter Chapter 12|20 pages

Coordination of Global Efforts in Combatting Infectious Disease

ByDanny Sheath, Nefti Eboni Bempong, Antoine Flahault

chapter Chapter 13|32 pages

Health Information Technology and Infectious Disease

Learning from the Past
ByStephanie H. Hoelscher, Dwayne Hoelscher

chapter Chapter 14|20 pages

The Meaning of the Italian Fight against COVID-19

Protecting Fragile People and Defending the Social Values of Universal Public Health and Voluntary Activities through National Digital Solutions
ByFrancesco Gabbrielli, Luigi Bertinato

chapter Chapter 15|38 pages

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to Fight Effectively against Pandemics

BySimon Richir, Abdelmajid Kadri, Nicolas Ribeyre

section Section VI|53 pages

Security, Policing, and the Law

chapter Chapter 16|13 pages

Biosecurity and the Police

ByJohn P. Sullivan

chapter Chapter 17|16 pages

The Impact of Pandemics on National and International Security

ByStephen G. Waller

chapter Chapter 18|21 pages


A Brief History of Infectious Pandemic Diseases in Canada
ByCandace J. Gibson

section Section VII|25 pages

Final Thoughts The Next Pandemic

chapter Chapter 19|23 pages

Collaborative Decision Making in Crises

The Malphas Affair
ByDag K.J.E. von Lubitz