Ebola by William T. Close M.D.

Opening Sentence:Fly due east toward the coast of Africa, six degrees below the equator, altitude one thousand feet above the sea.
Synopsis:It strikes without warning – a horrifying, lethal disease with no name. And no cure.

At a Catholic mission in a remote area of Zaire, a local teacher visits the clinic with a raging fever. Sister Lucie, a Flemish nun and nurse, gives him a shot of an anti-malarial drug, wipes off the syringe, and awaits her next patient. Within days, the teacher is dead. Soon after, others become ill and die. Less than three weeks later, Sister Lucie, too, is dead.

Panic erupts and the villagers flee from the sickness. The roads leading out of the town are blocked and the dying are turned away. As the single radio connecting the village to the outside world brings only bad news, the valiant nuns and medical personnel left behind at the mission can only pray and wonder: will the world ever hear their plea for help?

A terrifying, authentic novel of medical suspense from the molten centre of the “hot zone” by the American doctor who lived in Zaire for sixteen years, and who worked desperately to contain the first outbreak of the killer virus in 1976. Inspired by his personal experience an based on extensive research, Ebola is an unforgettable portrait of this devastating drama, which all began with an invisible, unknown killer.
Genre:Medical Thriller
Comments:Ebola is a very frightening look at the Ebola outbreak in Zaire in 1976. Ebola is a virulent form of haemorrhagic fever. There are three strains of Ebola with Zaïre ebolavirus (the strain featuring in this book) being the most potent. While this strain has an average mortality rate of around 83%, individual outbreaks have shown it can be much higher. The case-fatality rates for this strain were 88% in 1976 (this is the outbreak covered by Ebola), 100% in 1977, 59% in 1994, 81% in 1995, 73% in 1996, 80% in 2001-2002 and 90% in 2003. There have been more outbreaks of Zaïre ebolavirus than any other strain.

Ebola was an interesting, and frightening, look at the progress of this disease and the fear it can instil in those affected. It is written in novel form, making it easy to read and understand and I recommend this to anyone with an interest in medicine, science or communicable diseases.

Categories: Impressions

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