Book Review

Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC
Updated Edition

J.B. McCormick and S. F. Hoch
Barnes and Noble Books, 1999, 397 pp.


Autobiographical story of the epidemiological field work by a husband and wife team investigating Lassa and Ebola in Zaire, Sudan, and Nigeria. Book consists mainly of anecdotes and case histories of their African patients and the authors' attempts to trace the sources of epidemics of diseases caused by Level 4 viruses. The two authors have similar writing styles which sometimes causes confusion about which of them is talking. Describes their often reckless and careless approach to treatment which, if practiced here, could well have caused them serious legal problems. For example, in one case, they trained a British nurse inadequately, then delayed giving ribavirin after she contracted Lassa fever as a result of her inadequate training, and finally they transfused her with blood containing the wrong Rh factor.

Find out what those guys at that 'other' government public health lab are up to. A quick but interesting read. Book is published by Barnes and Noble, and is available from Amazon only by special order. A clever but futile attempt by the publisher to fight back against Internet book dealers.

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