New Delhi, April 5: At a time when the world is in the throes of the deadly COVID-19, two new books on the contagion seek to help readers to better understand the novel coronavirus and subsequently discuss the way forward in the fight against the invisible enemy. The books, "How Contagion Works: Science, Awareness and Community in Times of Global Crisis" by Italian physicist Paolo Giordano and "Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs" by epidemiologist Michael Osterholm and author Mark Olshaker, will hit the stands in May, announced publishing house Hachette.

While "How Contagion works", a slim read, is a mix of author's moving account of putting up under lockdown Italy, decoding maths behind the contagion and interconnected lives in the times of globalization, the "Deadliest Enemy" is an attempt to explore the "resources and programs" to keep people safe from infectious diseases.

According to the publishers, it was Giordano's article "Contagion by numbers" -- explaining how contagion works and why people should limit their exposure to the outside world -- which contributed to a shift in the public discourse around the virus in Italy.

The article has also been included in the book, which in essence is Giordano's real-time account of the coronavirus crisis. Italy is one of the worst-hit countries as it has recorded more than 15,000 coronavirus deaths.

Giordano's first novel, "The Solitude of Prime Numbers", was translated into more than 40 languages worldwide and won the Premio Strega, the most prestigious Italian literary award. "Deadliest Enemy", as per the publishers, is a "high scientific drama, a chronicle of medical mystery and discovery, a reality check and a practical plan of action".

"The authors show how we could wake up to a reality in which many antibiotics no longer cure, bio-terror is a certainty, and the threat of a disastrous influenza or coronavirus pandemic looms ever larger. Only by understanding the challenges we face can we prevent the unthinkable from becoming the inevitable," it added.