Cover image for Ebola : the natural and human history of a deadly virus
Title:
Ebola : the natural and human history of a deadly virus
Author:
Quammen, David, 1948- , author.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2014]

©2014
Physical Description:
119 pages : map ; 21 cm
Summary:
Acclaimed science writer and explorer David Quammen first came near the Ebola 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.
General Note:
Extracted, but with updated and additional material from: Spillover : animal infections and the next human pandemic / David Quammen. c2012.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780393351552
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

Writer David Quammen grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and was later educated at both Yale and Oxford Universities.

Quammen began his career by writing for The Christian Science Monitor, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and Audubon, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Harpers Magazines. He wrote the novels The Soul of Viktor Tronko and The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions, which won the 1997 New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism. He also received two National Magazine Awards for his column "Natural Acts" in Outside magazine.

(Bowker Author Biography) David Quammen is the author of "The Boilerplate Rhino" & "The Song of the Dodo." Among his honors are two National Magazine Awards for his writing in "Outside."

(Bowker Author Biography) David Quammen is a two-time winner of the National Magazine Award for his science essays & other work in "Outside" magazine. He is the author of three novels & several other books, including the award-winning "The Song of the Dodo". He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Award-winning science writer Quammen explained how infectious diseases spread from animals to humans in Spillover (2012). In this small volume the author takes the material about Ebola virus from that book and adds introductory material and an epilog to update it. He explains how the current outbreaks in Africa began and how the disease traveled to other countries despite that it is not airborne. He also discusses the political, economic, and social factors that make it difficult to control the disease. Because the virus mutates rapidly, it could potentially adapt and become more transmissible as well. Quammen's work takes readers on an African adventure that will keep them turning pages while making the science easy to understand. Readers interested in health and science as well as those who enjoy armchair travel will enjoy the book. Verdict A wonderful antidote to the fear-mongering news stories about Ebola.-Barbara Bibel, Oakland P.L. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

This title is essentially a verbatim excerpt from the sections on Ebola and Marburg viruses in Quammen's previous publication, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (CH, May'13, 50-5030). Though a few minor editorial changes and remarks made in the text reflect circumstances associated with the current Ebola crisis in West Africa, these do not substantially alter the original text. The only significant addition is a seven-page epilogue, which places the ongoing epidemic in perspective. Quammen, an award-winning author and journalist, presents an excellent historical account of the emergence of Ebola across Africa. It is a well-researched and well-written book. Major outbreaks of Ebola and the closely related Marburg virus are discussed, and many of the medical investigators who devote their professional careers-and sometimes their lives-to unraveling the mysteries of emerging viral diseases are individually showcased. He outlines what is known about the disease ecology of Ebola and important pieces of the disease puzzle yet to be solved. This book will appeal to a wide range of readers. Those who have not previously read Spillover but want to learn more about Ebola will find much to interest them here. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. --Danny A. Brass, independent scholar