The Plague Race: A Tale of Fear, Science and Heroism

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 19 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:909
  1. David R Murdoch, clinical microbiologist. (
  1. Canterbury Health Laboratories, Christchurch, New Zealand

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    Edward Marriott

    Picador, £14.99, pp 316

    ISBN 0 330 48318 8

    Rating: Embedded ImageEmbedded Image

    To most people, the plague is synonymous with the most terrifying of epidemics, the Black Death that killed 25 million Europeans between the 14th and 17th centuries—the original pestilence. Even today, the plague is regarded as one of the most feared infectious diseases. The outbreak in Surat, India, in 1994 caused panic throughout the country and the flight of up to 600 000 of the city's residents. Many countries responded by stopping flights to and from India. The plague's reputation has …

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