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Publisher's Summary

"A frightening and fascinating masterpiece of science reporting that reads like a detective story." - Walter Isaacson
In 1976 a deadly virus emerged from the Congo forest. As swiftly as it came, it disappeared, leaving no trace. Over the four decades since, Ebola has emerged sporadically, each time to devastating effect. It can kill up to 90 percent of its victims. In between these outbreaks, it is untraceable, hiding deep in the jungle. The search is on to find Ebola's elusive host animal. And until we find it, Ebola will continue to strike. Acclaimed science writer and explorer David Quammen first came near the virus while he was traveling in the jungles of Gabon, accompanied by local men whose village had been devastated by a recent outbreak. Here he tells the story of Ebola - its past, present, and its unknowable future.
Extracted from Spillover by David Quammen, updated and with additional material.
©2014, 2012 David Quammen (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By S. Yates on 03-23-18

Concentrated and accessible

Quammen remains a science writer par excellence when covering pandemics and zoonosis. His Spillover remains a masterpiece, covering a wide range of diseases that jump from animals to humans, examining the paths they take, how the diseases evolve and how they impact humans and animals alike, and the scientists and medical professionals who study and combat such diseases.

In Ebola (published 2014), Quammen has excerpted the portion of Spillover (originally published in 2012) dealing with Ebola, and updated it with information and events from the intervening years. Namely, this iteration was written in the throes of the 2014 Ebola outbreak (or, more accurately, the 2013 outbreak that managed to spread internationally in 2014). In it, he covers what is known of Ebola, and also what frustratingly remains hidden, including the reservoir species that houses Ebola when it isn't crossing over into primates (from gorillas and chimps, to humans). As he does in Spillover, in this slim volume he spends a great deal of time and thought to the impact this disease has on animals, rather than only caring about the human costs.

All in all, an excellent summing up of the history of Ebola, and what we know and what we still have to learn. Even better, for those who have yet to read Spillover, this provides entrée into Quammen's work and should whet the appetite for more.

My only complaint, and it is a small one, is that the narrator does not seem to be aware that USAMRIID is generally pronounced yoo-sam-rid.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Sheri on 06-29-15

Very informative

Interesting and very clearly written. The back story is worthwhile on it's own.
If Ebola evolves to not kill the host so fast, we are in trouble.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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