The reason lies entirely in the writing, though, so I'll be kind and give it four stars. When I picked it up, I really expected it to be all about the Ebola outbreak, and was preparing myself for a couple hundred pages of graphic descriptions of the disease, but that's not what this book gives you. It does go into descriptions of the disease, of course, but it's not a book that' I want to give this book 3.
Ebola is an awful disease, with its victims hemorrhaging to death. Ed Regis provides a lively account of the CDC response, obviously based on interviews with the participants. To place their heroic activities in context, he intermingles his report with a history of the CDC and a general discussion of the biology of viruses and viral infections.
There are two clear lessons to be learned from the events in Zaire and other localities with outbreaks of deadly viruses.
First, ignore popular fictional accounts of such events. Stopping an outbreak of a killer virus is fairly easy. It is true that curing those who are already infected is not possible—nature must take its course—and that some of these viruses have high fatality rates.
Yet preventing further infection is often simply a matter of erecting barriers, whether physical or antiseptic. Second, sadly, it is poverty which is the catalyst in these viral outbreaks. Wealthier nations have access to disinfectants, clean water, and enough needles and other supplies to allow their medical personnel to throw away contaminated material.
Poor nations do not. These killer viruses are generally the companions of the poor, not the rich.About Virus Ground Zero In a destitute hospital in the crowded African city of Kikwit, townspeople, nurses, and doctors are dying of a gruesome disease at the rate of more than a dozen a day.
First, ignore popular fictional accounts of such events. Stopping an outbreak of a killer virus is fairly easy. In Ed Regis’ book Virus Ground Zero: Stalking the Killer Viruses with the Centers for Disease Control discussed how the Center for Disease Control team managed to control the spread of the virus.
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About Virus Ground Zero In a destitute hospital in the crowded African city of Kikwit, townspeople, nurses, and doctors are dying of a gruesome disease at the rate of more than a dozen a day.