I read this book in 1975, after graduating from college. It was riveting. When I finished it, I decided I wanted to study viruses. The next year I entered graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in viruses, and the rest is history. Highly recommended account of virology before the catchphrase 'emerging infection' was coined, before BSL4 facilities and physicians worrying about themselves. For a personal account of the history written in 'Fever!', see the podcast 'This Week in Virology'.
This is a great book. It chronicles the discovery of Lassa Fever from Africa to the US. I cannot believe that this book is unheard of, whereas The Hot Zone is a best seller. If this book had been released today (OK, 2 years ago) it would have beaten out THZ on the charts. Instead, it is unavailable, and a much better written, more exciting story goes unread. I have lent this book to scientists and laypeople, and everyone who has read this book has raved about it. Do yourself a favor, and check your local library.
This is one of the most exciting, dramatic, inspiring, and disturbing books I've ever read. My husband found me a used copy, which I treasure. Much is written about how viruses mutate and are coming to get us; this book is quite simply the great morality play on the subject. That it's out of print?--somebody in publishing is really asleep on this one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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This book was very fascinating and real to me because I lived in Nigeria at the time when Lassa Fever was prevalent. Many of the characters in this book I knew personally. I was shocked when the news came to our mission station that Dr. Jeannette Troup, one of the main characters in FEVER, had died from this awful virus. Just three years prior to this tragedy, in February of 1967, she had delivered my daughter at the Bingham hospital where Dr. Jeanette later died.
This book tells how difficult it was to trace the source of the virus and how heroic the doctors were in not giving up in spite of many obstacles in testing reluctant people and many many animals. Traveling was not easy and communication difficult.
Since this book is out of print, I was happy to be able to buy a used copy through Amazon.
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A doctor uses her mouth to draw a virus-containing solution into a pipette, hospital workers bare-handedly contact infected patients, a deathly ill victim travels to a hospital via a routine commercial aircraft flight, researcher-sleuths attempt to learn about a virus only minimally protected against it - seem likely? All of this and more actually happened during an outbreak of a virulent type of fever in a missionary hospital in Nigeria in 1969. Many prayers were said, many doctors took part, many people died and much was learned about what to and what not to do when dealing with contagious diseases in the process of tracking down the vector, determining the methods of transmission, and attempting to find a treatment. Published in 1974, Fever! provides a look into how outbreaks of contagious diseases were handled at that time and is a fast-paced, engrossing, frill-less story. The race against the clock to find a cure section was especially compelling. Interesting companion reads: The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton, Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, The Great Influenza by John M. Barry, In a Far Country by John Taliaferro, and Graceland by Chris Abani.