304 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:17 Apr 2018


The First Epidemic of Climate Change

Island Press
"Superbly written and researched." Booklist

"Builds a strong case." Kirkus

Lyme disease is spreading rapidly around the globe as ticks move into places they could not survive before. The first epidemic to emerge in the era of climate change, the disease infects half a million people in the US and Europe each year, and untold multitudes in Canada, China, Russia, and Australia.

Mary Beth Pfeiffer shows how we have contributed to this growing menace, and how modern medicine has underestimated its danger. She tells the heart-rending stories of families destroyed by a single tick bite, of children disabled, and of one woman’s tragic choice after an exhaustive search for a cure.

Pfeiffer also warns of the emergence of other tick-borne illnesses that make Lyme more difficult to treat and pose their own grave risks. Lyme is an impeccably researched account of an enigmatic disease, making a powerful case for action to fight ticks, heal patients, and recognize humanity’s role in a modern scourge.
As Pfeiffer's hard-hitting study reminds us, non-specific symptoms and other complexities make tackling Lyme a formidable challenge...She nimbly interweaves numerous strands of research—into the influence of climate change on the Lyme invasion, the disease, the pathogen, the vectors and the harrowing impacts borne by some sufferers. Nature
Powerful. Slate
Heart-wrenching...After you read Lyme, the standard advice of 'do your due diligence, check for ticks, stay aware' won't seem adequate...Pfeiffer has delivered a powerful wake-up call. Sierra
Superbly written and researched, Pfeiffer's work should go a long way toward convincing the public to take this modern-day scourge more seriously.'  Booklist
Thoroughly researched and extremely well-presented case to raise the banner for patients...Hopefully, Pfeiffer will raise significant awareness of Lyme to the attention of health authorities, who currently underestimate the real significance of this disease. This book should be instrumental in achieving the required change of perspective. The Biologist
In page after page of data and interviews with patients, advocates, and researchers around the world, Pfeiffer builds a strong case...the basic facts she sets forth are credible, and they deserve immediate attention. Kirkus
A work of both breadth and depth, impressively documented and often elegant. MinnPost
Engrossing. Moms Clean Air Force
A highly enjoyable, illuminating and informative read...I enjoyed this book so much that when I finished it…I went right back to the start to reread it. Lyme Disease UK
Fascinating, timely. The Voice
Engrossing...Pfeiffer makes a compelling argument that Lyme is expanding because of human influences on the environment, from warming temperatures to killing deer..this issue is important, urgent, and needs more advocates. Massive Science
A public warning and call to action Bangor Daily News
Throws new light on one more danger caused by climate change. Pfeiffer points out the importance not only of combating ticks but also the need for doctors to respond quickly and provide appropriate treatment. A stark warning that Lyme is but the tip of the iceberg. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace
The war against an eight-legged menace that emerged about 145 million years ago is escalating to frightening proportions, and we are losing it. Mary Beth Pfeiffer clearly outlines the failure of the scientific and medical communities to address the suffering of millions of people in the USA and around the world with tick-borne diseases. Her well-researched book is a call to action to find a cure. Jane Alexander, actress, author, conservationist
As the planet heats, ticks spread—and with them not only Lyme disease but also a distinctly unnatural fear of the natural world. This book offers a powerful alert—hopefully it will cause us not only to protect our individual selves, but our society as well. Bill McKibben, author of "The End of Nature"
A book on climate change I couldn't put down. An utterly convincing argument, beautifully told: what we do unto other species and the environment we do unto ourselves. Mark Jerome Walters, author of "Seven Modern Plagues and How We Are Causing Them"
A major contribution to public knowledge of Lyme disease. Christian Perronne, Head of the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Raymond Poincare University Hospital, Garches, France
A superbly written piece of investigative reporting, Lyme is as macabre as a Stephen King horror novel—except the topic is all the more frightening because it's real. Garth Ehrlich, Executive Director of the Center for Genomic Sciences, Drexel University
Mary Beth Pfeiffer has been an investigative reporter for three decades and is the author of Crazy in America: The Hidden Tragedy of Our Criminalized Mentally Ill (Carroll & Graf Publishers/Basic Books, 2007). 

Chapter 1. Ticks, Rising
Chapter 2. "Invisible Assassin"
Chapter 3. An Ancient Bug Revives
Chapter 4. A Disease, Minimized
Chapter 5. "Little Armored Tanks"
Chapter 6. Faulty Tests
Chapter 7. An Indestructible Pathogen?
Chapter 8. Not Just Lyme
Chapter 9. Childhood Lost
Chapter 10. Lyme Takes Flight
Chapter 11. A Lyme-free World

Selected References
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