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Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • An urgent wake-up call about the future of emerging viruses and a gripping account of the doctors and scientists fighting to protect us, told through the story of the deadly 2013–2014 Ebola epidemic "Crisis in the Red Zone reads like a thriller. That the story it tells is all true makes it all more terrifying."—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction From the #1 bestselling author of The Hot Zone, now 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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    Street Date:
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    APA Citation (style guide)

    Richard Preston. (2019). Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come. Random House Publishing Group.

    Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

    Richard Preston. 2019. Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come. Random House Publishing Group.

    Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

    Richard Preston, Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come. Random House Publishing Group, 2019.

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    Richard Preston. Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come. Random House Publishing Group, 2019. Web.

    Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        • bioText: Richard Preston is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hot Zone, as well as Panic in Level 4, The Cobra Event, and The Demon in the Freezer, also New York Times bestsellers. A writer for The New Yorker since 1985, Preston won the American Institute of Physics Award and is the only non-doctor ever to have received the CDC's Champion of Prevention award. He has an asteroid named after him and lives outside of New York City.
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    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • An urgent wake-up call about the future of emerging viruses and a gripping account of the doctors and scientists fighting to protect us, told through the story of the deadly 2013–2014 Ebola epidemic

    "Crisis in the Red Zone reads like a thriller. That the story it tells is all true makes it all more terrifying."—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction

    From the #1 bestselling author of The Hot Zone, now 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.
  • reviews
        • premium: True
        • source: Kirkus
        • content:

          June 15, 2019
          A sequel of sorts to the landmark bestseller The Hot Zone (1994), this time with a focus on the 2013-2014 Ebola outbreak in the forests of West Africa. "Viruses are the undead of the living world, the zombies of deep time," writes New Yorker contributor Preston (Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science, 2008, etc.). In this richly detailed narrative, he plunges readers into the "horrifying chaos" of overcrowded field-hospital wards in Sierra Leone, where "disoriented, infected patients" wander while scientists across the world scurry to identify a contagious disease for which there is no treatment or cure. First detected in 1976 near Zaire's Ebola River, where it jumped across species into humans, the virus returned with deadly force in the 2013 outbreak recounted here, infecting 30,000 villagers and killing 11,000. Moreover, it posed the nightmare threat of spreading into populous cities. Preston tells engrossing human stories of doctors and patients while providing a clear understanding of Ebola, from its genetic code and mutations to its terrible impacts on victims (fever, paralysis, diarrhea, etc.). In scene after scene, the author vividly re-creates the drama: Villagers throw rocks at epidemiologists during a burial, nearly killing them. A teenage herbalist eerily predicts the deaths of Ebola nurses. French and German scientists struggle to identify the virus. A doctor forgets himself and gets infected while trying to save a child. Cambridge scientists stare at mutations in the Ebola code and try to understand what they are seeing. Doctors are in short supply, nurses abandon hospitals, and villagers text message rumors about "white foreigners" in space suits experimenting on people. "Many didn't believe in this thing called Ebola," writes Preston, who also provides sharp portraits of virologists like Lisa Hensley, a longtime Ebola researcher at Maryland's Fort Detrick, and Sheik Umar Khan, declared a "national hero" for leading Sierra Leone's fight against Ebola, who contracted the disease himself, sparking debate over whether he should be given an untested experimental drug. An exhaustive and terrifying story of viral mayhem that will rivet readers.

          COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

        • premium: True
        • source: Publisher's Weekly
        • content:

          Starred review from June 24, 2019
          Preston follows up his 1994 book The Hot Zone with another terrifying real-life thriller about the threat of viruses—in this case, Ebola. He leavens the subject’s essential grimness with inspiring portrayals of men and women who risked, and sometimes lost, their lives battling the virus’s resurgence in West Africa in 2013 and 2014. They include Lisa Hensley, an American researcher and single mother who chooses to travel to Africa to offer what help she can, and Humarr Khan, a physician who, even before the Ebola outbreak, had already decided to stay in his native Sierra Leone and fight Lassa, another virus endemic in West Africa, rather than pursue a lucrative American career. Along with character sketches, Preston delves into the moral complexities that can arise in disease research, in this case when an apparent miracle cure—dubbed wow “because everybody was typing Wow in their emails”—yields amazing results in monkeys and the researchers must decide whether to experiment with its efficacy for humans. His concluding sections establish why this story remains relevant, as the Ebola outbreak is a cautionary tale of what could happen if a similar mutated supervirus reached cities. This nonfiction page-turner will both educate and scare readers.

        • premium: True
        • source: Booklist
        • content:

          Starred review from June 1, 2019
          "Viruses are the undead of the living world, the zombies of deep time." And perhaps none are more gruesome than Ebola, a Biosafety Level 4 virus (or hot agent). Highly contagious and lethal, Ebola is spread by direct contact with bodily fluids. Symptoms include high fever, hemorrhaging, profuse diarrhea, and oddly enough, hiccups. Preston, who first wrote about Ebola in the best-selling The Hot Zone (1994), chronicles the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Over 11,000 people died across eight countries, including the U.S. He flashes back to accounts of the first outbreak of Ebola in 1976 in Zaire (reminding readers of the lessons that might have been learned). Preston poignantly details the human drama of a place on the precipice of devastation. The suffering portrayed is staggering. Descriptions of Ebola hospital wards and quarantine tents are often nightmarish. Yet acts of heroism and the high prevalence of altruism (especially among local nurses) are astounding. In addition to devoted health care workers other captivating characters abound, including a teenage prophet and a mysterious herbalist healer. Preston addresses issues of medical ethics and justice throughout, and the clash between superstition and science, duty and self-preservation are constantly in play. Medical thriller, cautionary tale, and a public health call-to-arms are all bundled together in this powerful read.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • An urgent wake-up call about the future of emerging viruses and a gripping account of the doctors and scientists fighting to protect us, told through the story of the deadly 2013–2014 Ebola epidemic

    "Crisis in the Red Zone reads like a thriller. That the story it tells is all true makes it all more terrifying."—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction

    From the #1 bestselling author of The Hot Zone, now 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...
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