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Virus Hunter: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses Around the World [Paperback]

C.J. Peters , Mark Olshaker
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 13 1998
The commander of the Army virology unit that battled Ebola in The Hot Zone--and current director of Special Pathogens at the CDC--teams up with the bestselling co-author of Mind Hunter to chronicle his extraordinary thirty-year career fighting deadly viruses.

Currently the head of Special Pathogens at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, C. J. Peters has been on the front lines of our biological war against hot viruses for three decades in South America, the U.S., and Africa. In Virus Hunter, he recounts his lifelong battle against these deadly and invisible agents--and the all-too-often equally dangerous bureaucratic turf wars that have at times escalated the conflict and exacerbated epidemics. From investigating Venezuelan equine encephalitis and Bolivian hemorrhagic fever to containing Ebola in Reston, Virginia, and the deadly hantavirus in the Southwestern U.S., Peters offers a fascinating array of stories about the clash between biology and bureaucracy--and the threat emerging viruses pose to our species.

Written with bestselling co-author Mark Olshaker (Mind Hunter), Virus Hunter is a first person memoir by one of the leading virologists in the Ebola outbreak and a dramatic complement to the mega-bestseller The Hot Zone.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Books such as Richard Preston's The Hot Zone thrust the deadly Ebola virus into the spotlight, but they can't match the first-person perspective of Virus Hunter. Author C. J. Peters is an ex-army colonel who has spent his professional life studying deadly pathogens in the lab and in the wild. He spins a drama- and adrenaline-filled true tale of virus hunters, which is gripping despite its occasional tendency to grow verbose and detour into personal history. Peters offers a look at crippling diseases not only through the eyes of a scientist, but also with the perspective of an insider in the defense establishment, painting a chilling picture of the potential of biological terrorism or outright warfare. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Richard Preston's best-selling The Hot Zone (LJ 8/94) dramatized the 1989 Ebola outbreak among monkeys in Reston, Virginia, and described conflicts between the two men most responsible for dealing with the outbreak, Joe McCormick of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and C.J. Peters of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Eventually, McCormick left the CDC, and Peters assumed his former position there. Now both men have published their sides of the story in their respective memoirs. McCormick's Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC (LJ 7/96) is a somewhat disjointed but gripping account of hair-raising adventures investigating such deadly diseases as Ebola and Lassa Fever in Africa and elsewhere. Peters's adventures, while often exciting, can't match McCormick's in number and variety, but his book is more smoothly written and provides an interesting overview of its author's career and education in the workings of medical bureaucracies. He also provides important insights into the mentality at USAMRIID, formerly a biological warfare center. As Peters reminds us, some emerging diseases possess horrifying potential as agents of biological warfare. Recommended for general readers.?Marit MacArthur, Auraria Lib., Denver
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
The maps of South America & Africa were confusing - they put a lot of effort into identifying most of the Countries, but many of them didn't feature in the text, so why give the Geography lesson?
The 20 photographs were of some interest, but there was only one photo of a patient with symptoms, and only one of a virus - I wish there'd been more of those and less of head & shoulders like having a meal and daughter's high-school graduation?
Great disappointment - absolutely no Index!
The penultimate Chapter 11 gives a prediction of Avian Flu originating in Thailand - just what we're getting news about this month (Jan 2004) - but this book was published in 1997. Given the age of the book, its probably not surprising that Chapter 12 is very out of date (as in 'wrong') regarding its description of BSE (Mad Cow Disease) & CJD.
Was it necessary that we be told what the wife of the 'ghost writer' does for a living?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Triller!! (If thats possible) Dec 11 2003
By Avaksi
An excellent book!
This books reads like a thriller as the authors take the reader from one hot zone to another. My appreciation for the bravery and humanity of individuals who do this has increased manifold after reading this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Only one mistake. Aug. 27 2003
By Reader.
I extremely enjoyed Dr. Peters's book. The only thing that I can argue with him about is in the chapter titled Cochabamba, when he describes Bolivia's geography he makes a mistake. I expect that he got confused, but he said the that the Kollas live in the lowlands of Beni and Santa Cruz and the Cambas in La Paz and the high altitude Altiplano. Well, the truth is that Cambas live in the lowlands of Bolivia and Kollas in the highlands. Otherwise I found the book very good and entertaining. I recommend everybody to read it, but to remember the Camba-Kolla explanation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Give this guy a break! May 9 2003
Peters has been around the world battling Ebola, Marburg ,Lassa, BHF, and alot more! This book contains his entire life, feelings, and emotions. He has seen one of his best friends bleed to death while the veins in his body are exploding. He has seen thousands die from ruthless viruses. For people seeing disturbing images like these and willing to fight them, Like Peters, They have to be heroes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Was Expecting, But Still Excellent April 27 2003
This book was excellent; however, it was not quite what I had expected. I bought it expecting it to read like ï¿The Hot Zone.ï¿ Instead, it turned out to be the autobiography of C.J. Peters, spanning his personal life and career in battling hot viruses. It is a book of memoirs about his career. It was interesting, but did drag a bit in places. It did NOT read like a thriller, as did ï¿The Hot Zone.ï¿
I am still rating the book five stars, because the last two chapters were the best. They sum up all that he has learned in his career, and make projections into the future. He also discusses extensively throughout his book the political considerations and bureaucracy that all scientists have to deal with. The book was written several years ago, but his imaginary scenario sounds almost exactly like what is currently happening with the SARS virus. He also discusses biological terrorism and chemical and biological warfare, and gives his thoughts about all these things from the perspective of all he has learned in his entire career. These chapters are EXTREMELY pertinent to what is happening today.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A nice Companion to "The Hot Zone" March 12 2002
What an interesting read!
The author is a great storyteller, who brings a human (and humorous) voice to some of the world's deadliest virial outbreaks.
Read this as a companion to "The Hot Zone" since it talks about some of the same people and situations.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Correction Aug. 8 2001
By A Customer
After reading Joe Barcelo's review I felt compelled to note that "Hot Zone" is also non-fiction (and very well written).
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Correction Aug. 8 2001
By A Customer
After reading Joe Barcelo's review I felt compelled to note that "Hot Zone" is also non-fiction and very well written.
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