Rabid A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus
by Bill Wasik
Source: Audiobook CD
Edition: 1st., 2012
This is an engrossing and lively history of a fearsome and mythologized virus.
In the tradition of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Great Influenza, journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies.
In the absence of vaccination as was true up until the late nineteenth century the rabies virus caused brain infections with a nearly 100 percent fatality rate, both in animals and in humans, and the suffering it inflicted became the stuff of legend.
The transmission of the virus often from dog to man reawakened a primal fear of wild animals, and the illness violent symptoms spoke directly to mankind's fear of the beast within. The cultural response was to create fictional embodiments of those anxieties ravenous wolfmen, bloodsucking vampires, and armies of mindless zombies.
From the myth of Actaeon to Saint Hubert, from the laboratories of the heroic and pioneering Louis Pasteur to a journalistic investigation into the madness that has gripped modern-day Bali, Rabid is a fresh, fascinating, and often wildly entertaining look at one of the world's most misunderstood viruses.