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Hardcover Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings Book

ISBN: 0312318227

ISBN13: 9780312318222

Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

STARTLING TRUE CASES OF BITE ATTACKS, RESULTING INFECTIONS, AND ENSUING TREATMENTS---From ticks, ants, and flying bats to elephant seals, Komodo dragons, rhesus macaques, and deadliest of all, humans.... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Creepy!

One gruesome story after another about the death and misery brought by those tiny critters we share the planet with-you'll look twice before you sit on a rock while camping or go swimming...or eat...or travel...not for the feint of heart

fascinating

About: A very in depth look at the bites and stings of different animals and the diseases they may cause. Spiders, snakes, jellyfish, tsetse flies, cone snails, ticks, mosquitoes (including a particularly wonderful section on West Nile), Komodo dragons, alligators, crocodiles, seals, dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, camels, humans, monkeys, rabies, bird attacks and fish with spears are all covered. In fact, the only thing that I thought was missing was a section on sharks, but the addition of so many other biting animals more than make up for this omission. Besides, there are plenty of shark books, but this is the only book I've seen camel, donkey and seal bites addressed. Pros: Engaging and fascinating. I looked forward to picking it up again after I put it down. Covers things I've never read about before. Scientific terms are clearly explained in the text as well as in the included glossary. Writing is very accessible. Great balance of science and anecdotes. Glossary, references. Cons: A section on sharks was notably absent but this is a minor gripe considering what is covered Grade: A+

Part natural history work, part medical thriller, very interesting book

_Bitten_ by Pamela Nagami, is a very interesting and well-researched popular science compilation of information and stories about just about every animal that stings, bites, or can carry infectious disease. Though a few are left out (notably sharks), a great many are included, each chapter often opening up with an interesting case history of a person afflicted by one of the animals in question, followed up by information on the organism, details on the disease that they may spread, and generally several other case histories of various patients throughout the world (some of which are from the author's own experiences as a practicing physician specialized in infectious disease). I found riveting not only some of the case histories but also the incredible medical detective stories, both those relating to saving patient's lives and in other instances the struggle to develop an anti-venom or to find the animal spreading a disease. Several chapters included information on what the reader should do when confronted by this animal (for example tips on safe tick removal and effective treatment for cat and dog bites). A helpful glossary and extensive bibliography are included. The first several animals included in the book are dangerous mainly because of their venomous bites or stings, namely fire ants, several spider species, Portuguese man-of-war and various jellyfish species, cone snails, and a number of venomous snakes. The fire ant chapter was illuminating. I was fascinated to learn that fire ants are even more trouble than I had imagined; livestock have been known to starve when fire ants render their food inaccessible, thousands of trout have been found that died from venom poisoning after eating swarms of winged males and queens that had flown into lakes, and fire ants, attracted to the warmth of heated asphalt, have caused rural roads to collapse as they built mounds beneath them, the undermined soil eventually subsiding and causing the road to collapse. The chapter on spiders was also quite interesting. The reasons why small spider bites can cause such huge problems for victims is still incompletely understood, but may have to do with an enzyme found in some spider venom (such as that of the brown recluse) that attacks and dissolves cell membranes. This enzyme sets a victim's defenses against his or her own tissue, leading white blood cells to dissolve a victim's flesh. This necrotic arachnidism is a worldwide problem and there isn't any consensus on best treatment. The next group of animals was largely included for the ability to transmit infectious disease. Included in this section are ticks, tsetse flies (with the emphasis being largely on sleeping sickness), and the sandfly (which spread leishmaniasis, parasitic diseases of the skin, moist membranes of the mouth and airway, liver, spleen, and bone marrow, caused by protozoa of the genus _Leishmania_ ). Also included was a chapter on the West Nile virus, a chapter which read like a m

Excellent book to read while traveling.

Great book! Each chapter reads like a separate short story which makes it perfect for traveling.

A Very Compelling Treatise on Hazards of Being Bitten

This well-written and most informative book is a real eye-opener. It made me wonder how it is that the human race has managed to survive this long, given the dangers that lurk out in nature. The author, a physician specializing in infection disease, has done an excellent job in describing the various hazards of being bitten or stung. She discusses the "dangerous" creatures themselves, the biological effects on humans of their bites, stings, etc., and, most importantly, several real life cases - these add a powerful element of reality to the potential dangers involved. Creatures discussed vary from ants, spiders and snails, all the way to monkeys and humans. This book is written in an engaging and authoritative style, and is very difficult to put down. All humans should read it.
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