In May 1993, a cluster of cases of a lethal disease among healthy young people brought the attention of the world to the southwestern deserts. A previously unknown disease was killing up to 80% of the people it infected. The reaction in the area and across the nation mixed fear, lack of information, and the struggles of doctors to save the victims of an unknown killer with hard science and the age old rhythmns of the desert. What came out was the story of a virus that had been killing since man arrived in the American continents, Hantavirus, with deadly relatives across the Americas and across the world. This book explains why and how the virus kills, and why it is still killing today. Why all of the science aimed at a virus identified back in 1993 has not brought a vaccine or a cure is part of the story, as is how that killer virus fits into the story of "new" diseases across the world. The story of hantavirus disease, what has happened since that first outbreak, and what the real risks are is laid out by an experienced scientist and an award winning journalist living and working in the area of the 1993 outbreak.
Covers the full story of the recent hantavirus outbreak
Includes interviews with survivors, and local reaction
Presents the science in lay terms
Places the event in the broader context of emerging diseases worldwide
The only account which takes the reader beyond the initial outbreak in 1993-1994, bringing them up to late 1998
Discusses hantavirus disease in the U.S., Argentina, and Canada
Virologists, infectious disease clinicians and researchers, and other life scientists, as well as interested laypersons; also, those currently living in and researching the Four Corners area
Table of Contents
The Heart of America/The Middle of Nowhere An Outbreak of Fear Unravelling the Mystery Putting the Puzzle Together Of Mice and Men At Last, a Plan Hantaviruses: Out of Asia Other Hantaviruses Three Billion Years On the Origin of Viruses Changes, Concealment, and Trojan Horses Cousins What We Know How to Stop a Virus Outbreaks Appendix A: Center for Disease Control Guidelines on Prevention of HPS Appendix B: Sources of Further Information Appendix C: Abbreviations
David R. Harper is currently a Lecturer in Molecular Virology at St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London Medical and Dental School. He has worked with viruses since leaving college in 1981, and has authored three textbooks and one laboratory manual. He has also worked as Research Director for Biocontrol Ltd., and has a wide range of teaching experience.
Affiliations and Expertise
St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine and Dentistry, U.K.