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Asymptomatic

The Silent Spread of COVID-19 and the Future of Pandemics

Joshua S. Weitz

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The riveting account of how asymptomatic transmission drove COVID-19's global spread and catalyzed interventions to control it.

Why was COVID-19 so difficult to contain and so devastating to people and economies worldwide? In Asymptomatic, author Joshua S. Weitz explains how silent transmission enabled COVID-19's massive and tragic global impact.

Weaving the science of viral infections together with an insider's look at response efforts, Weitz guides readers through the shockwaves of successive epidemic waves as public health officials and academic research teams confronted the rise and risk...

The riveting account of how asymptomatic transmission drove COVID-19's global spread and catalyzed interventions to control it.

Why was COVID-19 so difficult to contain and so devastating to people and economies worldwide? In Asymptomatic, author Joshua S. Weitz explains how silent transmission enabled COVID-19's massive and tragic global impact.

Weaving the science of viral infections together with an insider's look at response efforts, Weitz guides readers through the shockwaves of successive epidemic waves as public health officials and academic research teams confronted the rise and risk of what was then a burgeoning global pandemic. The discovery of asymptomatic spread also fueled competing narratives: either COVID-19 was about to dissipate as quickly as it had emerged or completely disrupt life as we knew it.

Weitz, a physicist-turned-biologist who directs a quantitative viral dynamics research group and has been immersed in COVID-19 response efforts, explains both why and how scientists tried to wade through competing narratives and warn the public of COVID-19's profound risk. As explored through a careful analysis of local outbreaks, accessible descriptions of virus dynamics, and the use of predictive models to guide response efforts, Asymptomatic provides readers a unique look into the secret ingredient that allowed COVID-19 to spread across borders and the high-impact interventions needed to fight it and future pandemics.

Reviews

Reviews

In Asymptomatic, Joshua Weitz highlights what made COVID-19 so difficult to track and control. A large cohort of asymptomatic infected individuals also made convincing the public about the potential severity of COVID-19 much more difficult. We learn how this feature is not unique to COVID-19 but also characterizes other important global infections and why we must understand much more about this stealth aspect of viral diseases and other communicable illnesses.

Asymptomatic is a fantastic read. It clearly explains that COVID-19 was so difficult to stop because it was often so mild. This book shares important lessons we need to learn about the scalability of testing and about vaccine development before the next pandemic.

A vital exploration into the silent threat lurking behind COVID-19 and many other infectious diseases. Through meticulous research and a compelling narrative, Joshua Weitz not only unveils the paradox of asymptomatic transmission but also challenges misconceptions and urges proactive measures. A clarion call to understand, prepare, and communicate effectively in the face of global health crises.

Joshua Weitz elegantly shows that COVID is not just 'another flu.' The transmission dynamics are different and the morbidity and mortality from COVID much more severe, especially when a population is naïve to infection. Weitz helps us understand how the virus spread and the role that asymptomatic infection played in it. A must-read for anyone interested in respiratory viral epidemics and their prevention.

Asymptomatic clearly explains how the failure to appreciate the potential for mild and asymptomatic infections to contribute to viral transmission early in the COVID pandemic produced months of confusion, wrong turns, missed opportunities, and lethal consequences. Weitz argues persuasively that improving our understanding of the role these infections play in transmission will be crucial to curbing future pandemics.

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Book Details

Release Date
Publication Date
Status
Preorder
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
272
ISBN
9781421450483
Illustration Description
34 b&w illus.
Author Bio
Joshua S. Weitz
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Joshua S. Weitz

Joshua S. Weitz (ROCKVILLE, MD) is a professor of biology and the Clark Leadership Chair in Data Analytics at the University of Maryland. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, a Simons Foundation Investigator in the Theoretical Physics of Living Systems, and the author of Quantitative Viral Ecology: Dynamics of...