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Virus Ground Zero: Stalking the Killer Viruses with the Centers for Disease Control [Hardcover]

Ed Regis
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1, 1996 0671553615 978-0671553616 1
This fascinating inside look at the Centers for Disease Control is more thrilling--and much scarier--than any work of fiction. Focusing on the CDC's top investigators and their most compelling stories, Virus Ground Zero follows the disease cowboys as they do battle with such unseen foes as hantavirus, Ebola, polio, and Crimean-Congo hemorrahagic fever.

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Editorial Reviews Review

Ever since Richard Preston's startling book The Hot Zone, killer viruses like Ebola, Lassa, Marburg and the hanta viruses have been huge at the box office--replacing bigger monsters as the scariest of horrors. Regis tells the story of how the Center for Disease Control (CDC) dealt efficiently with the most recent real-life outbreak of Ebola in Kikwit, Zaire in 1995. Although they never found the source of the outbreak, CDC scientists stopped it completely within a month. Initial panic by local medical authorities was stemmed with swift isolation of the infected and the training of staff to deal with this incurable horror using the latest technology: "rubber gloves, plastic gowns and face masks." Regis suggests that the threat from viruses has been overblown; his account of the CDC's heroic efficiency is certainly reassuring.

From Publishers Weekly

Despite outbreaks of headline-grabbing viral diseases such as Ebola and Marburg in which victims suffer uncontrollable bleeding and quickly die, Regis (Who Got Einstein's Office?) believes that the public's perception of an apocalyptic threat posed by emerging killer viruses is largely an illusion fostered by the Centers for Disease Control's global success in discovering undetected pathogens. This vivid report focuses on the CDC team of scientists and physicians dispatched from Atlanta headquarters to Zaire to fight an Ebola epidemic in 1995. The narrative also jumps back and forth to cover the CDC's drive to eradicate smallpox in the 1960s, its swift work in identifying a 1993 hantavirus epidemic on a New Mexican Navajo reservation and its efforts against Legionnaires' disease, Lassa fever, swine flu and other pathogens. Regis interweaves a history of the CDC, from its origins as a small, narrowly focused malaria-eradication agency in WWII to its modern role as hub of the planet's disease-fighting forces. This balanced report makes an impressive counterweight to more cautionary books such as Richard Preston's The Hot Zone and Laurie Garrett's The Coming Plague.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1 edition (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671553615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671553616
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,868,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
2.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A chronological history of the CDC October 10, 1998
By A Customer
A well written book about the Center for Diseases Control( as it is now called) in Atlanta. Carefully documented history about the agency from its earliest beginnings including accounts of how it has handled many famous cases such as the Ebola outbreak in Reston. Sometimes boring with the internal goings on at CDC but the case histories a nd the search to find the Ebola virus in Africa are certainly worth reading.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Informative Than Suspenseful January 9, 2001
By Mike
Ed Regis is an inconsistant author. At some points of this book I would stay up all night enjoying the suspense, yet at other points of time I would fall asleep with the book in my hand. If you are a historian, if you work at the CDC, or love informative books, then you will love his mix of writing styles. But if you are cruising the library for suspense thrillers, I don't recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CDC Information April 20, 2003
By A Customer
This is a great book if you are interested in information about the CDC, how it was founded, and how it works. In that area it is very specific. However, if you are looking for a disease thriller like The Hot Zone, I wouldn't recommend this book to you.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Virus Ground Zero scores a big "Zero" December 17, 2000
_Virus Ground Zero: Stalking the Killer Viruses with the Centers for Disease Control_ attempts to use the 1995 Kikwit Ebola epidemic as a case study for an examination of humanity's struggle with deadly viral and bacteriological pathogens. Ultimately, however, _Virus Ground Zero_ turns out to be a lightweight read bogged down by two agendas: act as a cheerleader for the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) specifically and science in general, and serve as a polemic against Laurie Garrett's _The Coming Plague_.
Despite the recent (November 2000) announcement of a possible break through in the development of an Ebola vaccine, Regis' `Rah! Rah!' routine for science and its ability to protect us, specifically against threats like Ebola, does not quite ring true. His attack on the near apocalyptic conclusions suggested by viral doomsayer's like Laurie Garrett, for example, is based more on the deconstruction of their semantics than convincing evidence.
Ed Regis brings impressive credentials to what the _Washington Post Book World_ calls "A readable-even fun-book." A philosophy professor and College Fellow at Western Maryland College, Regis has written and reviewed science books for years. One would think that such a background would have produced a more useful text than _Virus Ground Zero_.
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2 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars poorly written August 18, 1999
By A Customer
It reaaly was poorlywritten and uninterestin
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