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Physician and Author Lydia Kang on Timely New Book 'Patient Zero'

Image of book cover titled "Patient Zero." The title is in red text inside a petri dish. The subtitle "A Curious History of the World's Worst Diseases" is above it in black text. Images of things like microscopes and syringes are on the edges of the cover
Workman Publishing Company

Lydia Kang practices internal medicine at Nebraska Medicine and is an author of young adult fiction, adult fiction and non-fiction, and poetry  Her latest book, co-written with Nate Pedersen, is called "Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World’s Worst Diseases," which chronicles how diseases spread, the scientific race to understand them and efforts to destroy them before they destroy us. Each chapter chronicles a particular disease or virus — such as smallpox, the Bubonic plague, polio, HIV and COVID-19. Kang and Pederson combine the human stories behind outbreaks with historical examinations of missteps, milestones, scientific theories and more in a darkly funny, accessible read. In this conversation, Kang discusses the massive scientific advancements made to combat infectious diseases, how our reactions to pandemics have and haven’t changed and what might be in store for our future.

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