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

par Richard Preston

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17610123,780 (4.1)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.… (plus d'informations)
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Intense, very well-written. Very graphic. ( )
  SallyElizabethMurphy | May 20, 2021 |
Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come
by Richard Preston

I read The Hot Zone which dealt with the Ebola crisis in 1970's and I enjoyed how thorough the book was. This book is even better! It goes back and introduces the reader to what happened in 1970's. Then it mostly concentrates on 2013-2014. The information is presented in such a way that most of the nurses and doctors become more than just a name but a real person. We, the readers, know their families, their goals, what they do, and when. We know what happened when, what the hospitals were like. How they tried saving the community, the fears of the community, the calls they made to every world agency, including the US without getting any help!

Also the story of how behind the scenes from individual private companies were working on how to control the Ebola virus. How to save two Americans from death, a brave scientist took the formula to Africa illegally and it was used to help save lives. She was going to be tried too! The two ill Americans were flown to America to continue treatment and lived.

Government hindered progress in many cases up to that point instead of helping. I can't help think of the election campaign arguments and the discussion on Ebola. One group totally dismantled the office to protect us from dangerous viruses. The other group said they helped with Ebola. No they did not. I was hoping, while reading, that the US would intervene but even the Doctors Without Borders were a hindrance. Ebola was a crisis and no one was prepared or organized.

Being a disabled ICU nurse, I know how scary it can be at times but dealing with something like Ebola, wow, I felt for these people. It was an almost sure death if you got it.

This book brought the story of these courageous peoples lives to my heart. It angered me, it saddened me, and opened my eyes. This was written before Covid. Instead of Covid it could have been a level four virus. We need to prepare. ( )
  MontzaleeW | Mar 12, 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 voter 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 voter larryerick | May 28, 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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