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Virus Hunter: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses Around the World Paperback – April 13, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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  • Virus Hunter: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses Around the World
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Books such as Richard Preston's The Hot Zone thrust the deadly Ebola virus into the spotlight, but they can't match the first-person perspective of Virus Hunter. Author C. J. Peters is an ex-army colonel who has spent his professional life studying deadly pathogens in the lab and in the wild. He spins a drama- and adrenaline-filled true tale of virus hunters, which is gripping despite its occasional tendency to grow verbose and detour into personal history. Peters offers a look at crippling diseases not only through the eyes of a scientist, but also with the perspective of an insider in the defense establishment, painting a chilling picture of the potential of biological terrorism or outright warfare. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Richard Preston's best-selling The Hot Zone (LJ 8/94) dramatized the 1989 Ebola outbreak among monkeys in Reston, Virginia, and described conflicts between the two men most responsible for dealing with the outbreak, Joe McCormick of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and C.J. Peters of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Eventually, McCormick left the CDC, and Peters assumed his former position there. Now both men have published their sides of the story in their respective memoirs. McCormick's Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC (LJ 7/96) is a somewhat disjointed but gripping account of hair-raising adventures investigating such deadly diseases as Ebola and Lassa Fever in Africa and elsewhere. Peters's adventures, while often exciting, can't match McCormick's in number and variety, but his book is more smoothly written and provides an interesting overview of its author's career and education in the workings of medical bureaucracies. He also provides important insights into the mentality at USAMRIID, formerly a biological warfare center. As Peters reminds us, some emerging diseases possess horrifying potential as agents of biological warfare. Recommended for general readers.?Marit MacArthur, Auraria Lib., Denver
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (April 13, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385485581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385485586
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was excellent; however, it was not quite what I had expected. I bought it expecting it to read like �The Hot Zone.� Instead, it turned out to be the autobiography of C.J. Peters, spanning his personal life and career in battling hot viruses. It is a book of memoirs about his career. It was interesting, but did drag a bit in places. It did NOT read like a thriller, as did �The Hot Zone.�
I am still rating the book five stars, because the last two chapters were the best. They sum up all that he has learned in his career, and make projections into the future. He also discusses extensively throughout his book the political considerations and bureaucracy that all scientists have to deal with. The book was written several years ago, but his imaginary scenario sounds almost exactly like what is currently happening with the SARS virus. He also discusses biological terrorism and chemical and biological warfare, and gives his thoughts about all these things from the perspective of all he has learned in his entire career. These chapters are EXTREMELY pertinent to what is happening today.
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Format: Paperback
If you thoroughly enjoyed "The Hot Zone" and are now wishing to learn more about viruses (without taking a course) this is the book you're looking for. Scientific, yet entertaining and humane, it is a rare find. Dr. Peters has an extraordinary ability to explain his concepts in such a clear manner as to make it possible for the lay person to understand. I recommend it highly.
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Format: Hardcover
C.J. Peters retold the years of battling emerging infections very well. He explained what the clinical symptoms of the disease were, as well as any additional scientific info about the virus itself. He also told of his battle to stay married while hunting these viruses. I would certainly recommend this book to any aspiring virologists out there, or anyone who is just interested and wants to remain informed.
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By A Customer on September 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
C.J. Peter's remarkable ability to combine a fantastic story with easy-to-understand factoids about virology in general make this an incredibly entertaining book. Not only is it easy to understand for the lay person, it was entirely enjoyable for me as a biology major. His recollections of the many near-misses the world has experienced from various deadly viruses and the not-so-near misses regarding AIDS also makes this a book you aren't likely to forget anytime soon. It is fantastic.
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Format: Paperback
Everyone who is interested in life threatening diseases has come upon the name of C.J. Peters, a leading figure in epidemiology for at least 20 years. So, when i saw the book i bought it just to get an insight of the man himself. What i found was an inspiring manifest of how ''the job gets done'', written by a deeply stuborn, sensitive and respectfull scientist. It is not only a fine book on emerging diseases, it is also a call to medics and politicians alike to enlist to one of the most important, yet underated, scientific fields. Don't miss it.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book especially for people in science. I noticed that some reviewers didn't like the mini-resumes of some of the scientists, but I found that whole thing fascinating as I am really interested in the scientific process and how mentorships have propelled people in their careers. He does an excellent job of giving credit to his mentors and collaborators and explaining the process of discovery. The scary virus parts were sufficiently scary as well, and the science well explained. Thanks for writing this informative and interesting account your scientific career. For people who like this sort of thing (reading about how science progresses), I recommend "For the Love of Enzymes" by Arthur Kornberg, which would probably only interest those with a background in molecular biology, also "The Hunt for a Killer Virus: Hepatitis B" by Baruch Blumberg. Both are Nobel Prize winners who generously give credit to the many people who helped them make their discoveries and make the research process come alive.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're at all interested in the amazing work as well as detective abilities of virologists, and even if you don't know, this is a Really good book on the amazing minds at work on some of the most subtle and insidious killers nature has to offer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an exciting look into the professional and private life of a particular virologist/epidemiologist, C.J. Peters. The action takes place in several locals including MARU, CDC and AMRIID.
Unlike "Hot Zone" (mentioned by previous reviewers) this book is non-fiction and written by an expert.
The story provides any would-be epidemiologist with a realistic view of the problems and challenges that are likely to be encountered. (Though it is unlikely that he, or she, would experience this much adventure in one lifetime - Peters is the James Bond of epidemiologists!) When dealing with communities of people with varying cultural and religious beliefs, not all of the challenges are of a scientific nature.
Reading this book is well worth the time - and particularly recommended to young people thinking of entering the field of medicine. There can be more to life as a doctor than cursing HMOs and tracking a swollen stock portfolio!
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