Reviews Book

Federal Bodysnatchers and the New Guinea Virus: Tales of Parasites, People, and Politics

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 05 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1271
  1. Sanjay A Pai, consultant pathologist (
  1. Manipal Hospital, Bangalore, India

    Among the many hopelessly wrong medical predictions that the experts have made, perhaps the most off the mark was the comment by the US surgeon general, Walter Stewart, in 1967 when he stated that “medicine was conquering infectious diseases.” We are well into the AIDS era and now also in the time of SARS, and clearly infectious diseases have not been conquered. Many have asked how the experts could get their forecasts so wrong. Robert Desowitz also investigates why the predictions went awry and what possible solutions there are …

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