At the threshold of the third millennium, we are more vulnerable to mass epidemics than at any time in our history. Some infectious agents – MRSA, acinetobacter baumanii, Tuberculosis, HIV – are becoming resistant to nearly all available antibiotics. Differences in travel and social behaviour spread infections more widely; and, with changes in climate, diseases are either being described for the first time, or appearing in previously unaffected areas. In this fascinating book, infectious disease expert Robert Baker looks at the science, the history and the future of epidemics. He shows what epidemics really are, how they begin and transmit, the various types they are and what they can cause. Following some of the greatest plagues and epidemics of the past – bubonic plague, the great pox, the small pox – he shows the changing world of infectious disease and the possible infections lurking around the corner.