Global Pandemic Threats
A Reference Handbook
by Michael C. LeMay
August 2016, 366pp, 6x9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4282-5
$66, £51, 58€, A91
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4283-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Bio-terrorism constitutes a real threat today, as does the possibility of resurgences of deadly communicable diseases like influenza or malaria.

This book offers an accessible reference on epidemic and pandemic diseases that provides background information and history, explains why pandemics are a newly emerging threat, identifies the difficulties in coping with them, and provides hope in the form of modern medicine.

Global Pandemic Threats: A Reference Handbook provides all-encompassing coverage that introduces key concepts and traces the history of pandemics, enabling readers to grasp the complexity of the global problem and the difficulties of executing effective solutions. Written in an easy-to-understand manner, it provides a “go-to” resource that systematically addresses dozens of diseases of the past as well as re-emergent or newly emerging pathogens that have the potential of becoming pandemics.

The book’s extensive coverage of past pandemics includes bubonic plague, cholera, influenza, measles, smallpox, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and yellow fever, and the re-emergence of malaria, measles, pertussis (whooping cough), poliomyelitis, and other contagious diseases. It discusses a broad range of newly emerging viral threats, such as AIDS/HIV, avian flu, anthrax, botulism, Ebola, E. coli, Gulf War syndrome, hanta virus, Lassa virus, Lyme disease, Marburg virus, MERS, MRSA, Ricin, Sin Nombre virus (SNV), and West Nile virus. The work offers perspectives from individuals interested and involved in the fight, including medical professionals and health care workers; profiles of key organizations and persons; a helpful timeline of past and present pandemic outbreaks; and a glossary of key terms and concepts.


  • Provides readers an understanding and appreciation of the extent of the devastation of pandemic diseases of the past centuries
  • Shows how the pioneers of modern medicine conquered contagious diseases of the past that had been scourges in human history
  • Documents and explains the development of newly emerging viral diseases that have the potential of becoming pandemic outbreaks that kill millions
  • Employs primary documents ranging from data from reports from the CDC and WHO to firsthand accounts of past pandemics and their deadly impact
Michael C. LeMay, PhD, is professor emeritus of political science at California State University-San Bernardino (CSUSB), CA. He also served as assistant dean and was director of a interdisciplinary master's degree program in national security studies. His published work includes immigration policy titles such as Praeger's Doctors at the Borders: Immigration and the Rise of Public Health, From Open Door to Dutch Door: An Analysis of U.S. Immigration Policy Since 1820, Guarding the Gates: Immigration and National Security, and Anatomy of a Public Policy: The Reform of Contemporary American Immigration Law; Greenwood's American Immigration and Naturalization Laws and Issues: A Documentary History; ABC-CLIO's U.S. Immigration: A Reference Handbook and Illegal Immigration: A Reference Handbook; and The Struggle for Influence: The Impact of Minority Groups on Politics & Public Policy in the United States. He is a contributing author and series editor of the three-volume Transforming America: Perspectives on U.S. Immigration. LeMay received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota and his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin.


"This is a valuable and accessible resource for high school and public library collections."—Booklist, December 2, 2016

"Dense with information . . . this work contains extensive footnotes and references, and teens and adults searching for comprehensive content on various topics relating to the issue of global pandemic threats need look no further. A go-to resource for paper writing and a jumping-off point for more in-depth academic research."—School Library Journal, January 4, 2017

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
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