Log in with your email address username.

×

Important notice

doctorportal Learning is on the move as we will be launching a new website very shortly. If you would like to sign up to dp Learning now to register for CPD learning or to use our CPD tracker, please email support@doctorportal.com.au so we can assist you. If you are already signed up to doctorportal Learning, your login will work in the new site so you can continue to enrol for learning, complete an online module, or access your CPD tracker report.

To access and/or sign up for other resources such as Jobs Board, Bookshop or InSight+, please go to www.mja.com.au, or click the relevant menu item and you will be redirected.

All other doctorportal services, such as Find A Doctor, are no longer available.

Layperson’s guide to pandemics

- Featured Image

PANDEMICS, by Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, is based on the premise of equipping the public to be alert, not alarmed.

The book, using a question-and-answer format, begins by giving the reader a crash course in the immune system and how the human body responds to invaders. It then provides a historical overview of pandemics and how respiratory infections, like influenza, are the greatest pandemic threat. Doherty then outlines the role of animals, such as birds and bats, as well as the influence of climate change, antibiotic resistance and air travel on how diseases are spread. He discusses the strengths and limitations of the responses to pandemics, and how we might protect ourselves against them in the future.

Although the book is aimed at a lay audience, the level of information provided borders, at times, on the overwhelming. Yet, at the point when readers might begin to despair and give up, Doherty acknowledges the problem and provides a precis that helps to reorient the reader to the key point being made. That said, it is likely to be only the very interested and dedicated who will continue to persevere in some sections. However, this does not detract from the overall usefulness of the book.

The final chapter, which deals with personal responsibility, should be compulsory reading for anyone who ever travels. It hammers home the message of the role that…

email