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Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in… (2019)

de Richard Preston

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1449146,606 (4.12)2
The 2013-2014 Ebola epidemic was the deadliest ever--but the outbreaks continue. Now comes a gripping account of the doctors and scientists fighting to protect us, an urgent wake-up call about the future of emerging viruses--from the #1 bestselling author of The Hot Zone, soon to be a National Geographic original miniseries. This time, Ebola started with a two-year-old child who likely had contact with a wild creature and whose entire family quickly fell ill and died. The ensuing global drama activated health professionals in North America, Europe, and Africa in a desperate race against time to contain the viral wildfire. By the end--as the virus mutated into its deadliest form, and spread farther and faster than ever before--30,000 people would be infected, and the dead would be spread across eight countries on three continents. In this taut and suspenseful medical drama, Richard Preston deeply chronicles the outbreak, in which we saw for the first time the specter of Ebola jumping continents, crossing the Atlantic, and infecting people in America. Rich in characters and conflict--physical, emotional, and ethical--Crisis in the Red Zone is an immersion in one of the great public health calamities of our time. Preston writes of doctors and nurses in the field putting their own lives on the line, of government bureaucrats and NGO administrators moving, often fitfully, to try to contain the outbreak, and of pharmaceutical companies racing to develop drugs to combat the virus. He also explores the charged ethical dilemma over who should and did receive the rare doses of an experimental treatment when they became available at the peak of the disaster. Crisis in the Red Zone makes clear that the outbreak of 2013-2014 is a harbinger of further, more severe outbreaks, and of emerging viruses heretofore unimagined--in any country, on any continent. In our ever more interconnected world, with roads and towns cut deep into the jungles of equatorial Africa, viruses both familiar and undiscovered are being unleashed into more densely populated areas than ever before. The more we discover about the virosphere, the more we realize its deadly potential. Crisis in the Red Zone is an exquisitely timely book, a stark warning of viral outbreaks to come.… (mais)
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Intense, very well-written. Very graphic. ( )
  SallyElizabethMurphy | May 20, 2021 |
Excellent, alarming, and horrifying. Not for the understandably queasy during 2020. ( )
  sparemethecensor | Dec 27, 2020 |
I came into this book with both curiosity and some slight trepidation that it might not quite mesh with my current active interest in the Coronavirus. Different kinds of sickness, speed, and symptoms. Ebola is much more deadly, while Coronavirus had the potential to spread across the world and kill even more.

Even so, I dove in and quickly fell into a story that was almost pure horror. It was worse because everything in it was true.

Do you want descriptions that would turn the stomachs of even the most hardcore horror fan? Look no further.

The late 70's started the outbreak but it wasn't until 2014 when a confluence of new strains and the lack of real support for the people attempting to contain it turned Ebola a nightmare scenario completely out of control.

The story ... is shocking. Tragic. Tragedy upon tragedy upon tragedy. And this was just a few years ago. Most of the crap could have been prevented with knowledge and actual physical and monetary support, but governments, incompatible ethical concerns, and fear made the entire event into a completely non-hollywood-ending story.

There are possible treatments possible, but they are still caught in red-tape.

Currently, the only thing that has worked is turning whole populations into cold, mercenary triage mentalities. Let the sick die. Avoid them. Avoid everyone. Cut all social ties. No longer touch other people.

This is the kind of thing that worked in Medieval times.

For better or worse, I got a better understanding of the possibilities that are open to us. And they aren't pretty.

The biggest tragedy is that there ARE options, but red-tape is clamping down on them.

The biggest lesson is that we must prepare to self-quarantine. Prepare for large outbreaks. Isolate yourself.

Are there obvious crossovers here? Yes. Unfortunately. ( )
1 vote bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
The quick and dirty review is that I found it to be roughly a blend of The Andromeda Strain and The Walking Dead, especially in the beginning chapters. You'll know in the very first few pages whether or not you can handle its subject matter. Having said that, there are a number of things that make this book fairly unique, in my view. In saying that, I'm taking for granted the obvious timeliness of reading this during the current coronavirus outbreak, which this book will make clear may have issues very similar and perhaps very dissimilar to the ebola outbreak covered in the book. The author takes some pains to make sure the reader is alert to differences between diseases, even to differences between mutations within the same disease. Point #1 to make is the writing style of the person doing the reporting. Having not read any of his other books, I can't judge if this book's style was unique to this work or not, but the observation I made was that the author seemed to have purposely chosen a vocabulary level that kept an average reader from being overwhelmed with medical or technical jargon and yet never let things lapse to such a simple level that it verged into becoming a story aimed at youngsters. He was very adept at taking rather complex issues and making them quite understandable. I also point out how carefully and how faithfully he brings in multiple issues that add or subtract from efforts to confront a pandemic. Perhaps the most important of these is the overlay of medical ethics. I also found it rather unique that unlike most historians and investigative reporters books I have read, this one had very little in the way of a bibliography or other sources listed. What he reports -- and he reports quite extensively --comes from his own interviews with a great number of people upon whom he was reporting. Despite, multiple people being involved at multiple locations in multiple countries, he digs into it all, making sense of it all for the reader. As I look back at what I have written so far, I wonder if I have diminished the point I made at the top, that this is a very captivating narrative, provided the reader can handle the emotional descriptions. ( )
1 vote larryerick | May 28, 2020 |
I received an advanced review copy for free from NetGalley.

Like everyone when the 2013-2014 Ebola outbreak I was scared because I didn't know a lot about it. The only things I knew where what the news was telling me, and I'm a believer that a lot of the time (in situations like this one) the media is just out to cause panic. And panic I did because I didn't understand. One day I was surfing the internet and I came across a free class centred around Ebola. I thought what better way to help my fear than to better understand it.

First off, I'm glad I took the course and have taken several public health classes since, I'm obsessed with the field, and even work as a research assistant. But that first class I ever took suggested I read "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston (another book I will be reviewing here). From the first page, I hooked on the story he telling and knew I had to get my hands on the rest of his books. So when I got the chance to read this, I took it.

Like all of his book's this is entertaining and informative right from the start. This book covers the 2013-2014 the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record. It covers the first report to the spread of 30,000 people. We learn about the doctors and nurses who put their own lives on the line to government officials and pharmaceutical companies all dedicated to stopping the spread.

Whether you're new to the world of Ebola and public health or an expert who just wants to read more, this book is great at digging deeper and having a better understanding and respect of those working on the front lines and even those working in offices trying to stop the spread. The only thing you've got to watch out for is the book can get a little graphic. All of his books can. Its not for shock value, rather for his readers to get a better understanding of how these illness can take over the body and effects they have on it.

All in all, this is yet another one of his books that I read from time to time, and is a must for anyone interested in learning more about the outbreak. ( )
  strangebrew | Jan 31, 2020 |
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The 2013-2014 Ebola epidemic was the deadliest ever--but the outbreaks continue. Now comes a gripping account of the doctors and scientists fighting to protect us, an urgent wake-up call about the future of emerging viruses--from the #1 bestselling author of The Hot Zone, soon to be a National Geographic original miniseries. This time, Ebola started with a two-year-old child who likely had contact with a wild creature and whose entire family quickly fell ill and died. The ensuing global drama activated health professionals in North America, Europe, and Africa in a desperate race against time to contain the viral wildfire. By the end--as the virus mutated into its deadliest form, and spread farther and faster than ever before--30,000 people would be infected, and the dead would be spread across eight countries on three continents. In this taut and suspenseful medical drama, Richard Preston deeply chronicles the outbreak, in which we saw for the first time the specter of Ebola jumping continents, crossing the Atlantic, and infecting people in America. Rich in characters and conflict--physical, emotional, and ethical--Crisis in the Red Zone is an immersion in one of the great public health calamities of our time. Preston writes of doctors and nurses in the field putting their own lives on the line, of government bureaucrats and NGO administrators moving, often fitfully, to try to contain the outbreak, and of pharmaceutical companies racing to develop drugs to combat the virus. He also explores the charged ethical dilemma over who should and did receive the rare doses of an experimental treatment when they became available at the peak of the disaster. Crisis in the Red Zone makes clear that the outbreak of 2013-2014 is a harbinger of further, more severe outbreaks, and of emerging viruses heretofore unimagined--in any country, on any continent. In our ever more interconnected world, with roads and towns cut deep into the jungles of equatorial Africa, viruses both familiar and undiscovered are being unleashed into more densely populated areas than ever before. The more we discover about the virosphere, the more we realize its deadly potential. Crisis in the Red Zone is an exquisitely timely book, a stark warning of viral outbreaks to come.

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