Here is a compelling scientific account of viruses, their history, and the dangers they pose--now and in the future. Viruses are disarmingly small and simple. Nevertheless, the smallpox virus killed over 300 million people in the twentieth century before it was eradicated in 1980. The AIDS virus, HIV, is now the world's biggest killer infection and the single most common cause of death in Africa. In recent years, the outbreaks of several lethal viruses such as Ebola and Hantavirus have caused great public concern--yet most people remain woefully ill-informed. In this fascinating new book, Dorothy Crawford explains lucidly and accessibly all aspects of the natural history of these deadly parasites and discusses controversial subjects such as CFS and Gulf War Syndrome. The book considers issues such as how man has coped with viruses in the past, where new viruses come from, and whether it would be possible for a new virus to wipe out the human race. Professor Crawford illustrates her arguments with vivid and wide-ranging examples. The result is an informative and highly readable book, which will be read by all those who seek a deeper understanding of these minute but remarkably efficient killers.