Granted, it has been many years since the mere thought of recycled air on a plane gave me the heebie jeebies, but still. I was also mistaken in my assumption that the typical circular scar on my upper arm was a solid protection from any further outbreaks in the future. Eradicated from the planet in 1979 in one of the great triumphs of modern science, the smallpox virus now resides, officially, in only two high-security freezers-at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and in Siberia, at a Russian virology institute called Vector. Your eyes swell shut with blisters and pus which can cause blindness in some people. In this discussion, the author gives a detailed history and explanation of the disease and its potential. In October 2001, a photo-retoucher for the National Enquirer died as a result of a deliberate attack with anthrax.
After reading it, President Bill Clinton convened experts and government leaders to discuss its implications, and then readjusted his federal budget proposal to augment defenses against biological weapons. Usamriid went into a state of Delta Alert on September 11 and activated its emergency response teams when the first anthrax letters were opened in New York and Washington, D. It is almost certain that illegal stocks are in the possession of hostile states, including Iraq and North Korea. The descriptions of small pox are harrowing - not for the faint of heart if I recall, there are some pictures too. Touching on the possibilities of weaponized diseases and the dangers even an eradicated disease like smallpox can pose, Preston makes it clear in this book that at any time these disea With each new book, Richard Preston cements himself as one of the most vividly disturbing authors I have had the pleasure of reading. And you'll hear about them all in this book.
For some reason, the victims remain conscious and acutely aware of what is happening to them until death. Bummed to say the least. Having an interest in the medical field his descriptions of how simple microorganisms can fundamentally dismantle and massacre the human body is extremely disturbing yet intriguing. If Smallpox had been used instead of Anthrax, we might not being around today to talk about it. I must admit that while I knew a thing or two about anthrax, I knew close to nothing about smallpox as it had been eradicated quite some time before I was born. Jahrling is haunted by the thought that biologists in secret labs are using genetic engineering to create a new superpox virus, a smallpox resistant to all vaccines. But the demon in the freezer has been set loose.
Other interesting facts: - 99. The Dark Side of the Moon Frightening insight into the true nature of bioweapons experimentation is provided via the true story of the defection of a Soviet scientist named which divulges the existence of the Russian program named Biopreparat. Usamriid went into a state of Delta Alert on September 11 and activated its emergency response teams when the first anthrax letters were opened in New York and Washington, D. I can't wait for Preston's next book! The danger and sacrifices they worked through seemed insurmountable, however, their hard work delivered the results they needed. An in-depth look at the history of smallpox, the enormous international effort undertaken to eradicate the virus, and just how vulnerable we are to it now. His most urgent priority is to develop a drug that will take on smallpox-and win. No human being is known to have been infected by smallpox for close to a quarter of a century.
The author establishes it pretty well that for years prior to this event, scientists and the government have long been concerned about that possibility, but I was left overwhelmed and not entirely sure how all this information fit together, and he never quite spelled it out for me. Very minimal damage to the cover including scuff marks, but no holes or tears. I didn't enjoy the subjects that much because of the difficult quizzes and exams, but now I'm actually enjoying them. Officially variola majora smallpox only exists in freezers in the Centers for Disease Control and in the Russian Vector lab. His most urgent priority is to develop a drug that will take on smallpox-and win. Vaccines are no longer given, the vaccines given to our older Last week, vials of what turned out to be viable smallpox where found in a refrigerator on a National Institutes of Health Campus in Maryland. And Richard Preston is surely right up there as well.
But this book really cheered me up since with its vivid description of how one dies from Smallpox -- bloody pistules covering the body, lucidity until the end despite intense pain -- I realized my suffering was sort of at the low end of possibilities! Not only is smallpox still around, but our friendly neighborhood scientists have experimented with the damned virus for so long, it's possible that if there is an outbreak, the world might have to deal with a super-virus. Lisa accidentally cuts her finger during research into Ebola in 2000, thus exposing herself to a potentially fatal disease. It starts out discussing smallpox and its supposed eradication in the 70s. While the di Besides just informing or educating, non-fiction books often hide subtle themes for their readers to explore. It starts out as a warning about smallpox and then suddenly takes off in the direction of anthrax.
The history of the disease was one of the most interesting things I've read today, combined with bits abut genetics, epidemiology and international espionage. Eradicated from the planet in 1979 in one of the great triumphs of modern science, the smallpox virus now resides, officially, in only two high-security freezers-at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and in Siberia, at a Russian virology institute called Vector. It reads like a thriller, but the demons are real. He combines extraordinarily vivid descriptions of the pathological effects of infectious agents—including gruesome but fascinating visits to the autopsies of afflicted people and animals—with homely accounts of the ordinary routines of people who experience the infections and those who investigate them. Some of the same agencies and people were involved in both matters, but the two threads weren't tied together as well as I would have liked.
But the demon in the freezer has been set loose. The skin darkens until it looks charred, mottled and silky to the touch. The blisters eventually turn into scabs which tear away from your skin. It is almost certain that illegal stocks are in the possession of hostile states, including Iraq and North Korea. This is a good book on viruses for those who are not as familiar with them. Aside from the intentional desire to kill millions of people, another way for the disease to back is from an accident in the lab. I felt he tried to connect the two to the detriment of the story.
Preston does a great job of writing nonfiction like it is a suspense novel and not sugar coating how devastating a smallpox outbreak today would be. Edward Jenner had discovered and named vaccination—the practice of infecting a person with a mild or harmless virus in order to strengthen his or her immunity to a similar disease-causing virus. His successful replication proves to have a fatality rate of 100% among lab mice. Also, small pox is even worse than you think it is. The eradication of smallpox is a modern medical miracle.