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China Syndrome: The True Story of the 21st Century's First Great Epidemic

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  79 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
As the world braces for the next flu pandemic, the 2003 SARS outbreak now seems even more relevant as the harbinger of crises to come. The next great viral storm will likely emerge from Asia and could be more contagious than any respiratory disease since the catastrophic influenza of 1918. China Syndrome, an intensely compelling and unrivaled exploration of the first epide ...more
Published March 14th 2006 by Harper
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Bob Croft
Feb 04, 2016 Bob Croft rated it it was amazing
I own a commercial janitorial firm, with a focus on health, and write a blog. Here's one I drew from the book:
In the 2003 SARS outbreak,the biggest non-hospital outbreak in Hong Kong was at Amoy Gardens, a complex of eight-story apartment towers, and particularly in one of the towers. Much speculation involved how the virus, borne by various bodily fluids and by aerosols (think coughing or sneezing), spread quickly among residents, living on various floors and without much apparent contact.
May 06, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it
This book is to SARS what And the Band Played On was to AIDS. It is essentially a detective story about the discovery of the new virus, the initial cover-up (in China at least), and then the race to identify and prevent this deadly scourge. I first purchased the book after reading in the newspapers the fascinating tale of how it spread via a few people who traveled via plane, stayed in the same hotel, etc. One gentleman infected so many people this way he was dubbed the "Poison King." But there ...more
Nov 04, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
A periodically terrifying, very accessible story of the rise of SARS, its probable origins in the wildlife markets of Southern China, its march through Asia and then around the world, and the Chinese government's attempts to censor and hide the true severity of the disease. I have both personal and professional interests in the ecological impacts of the wildlife trade, and it was edifying to hear Greenfeld's account of how the rise of China's economy in the 1990s led to an "era of wild flavor," ...more
Sep 05, 2008 Eileen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people worried about the next pandemic.
Recommended to Eileen by: Seattle Public Library newsletter
A good account of the SARS epidemic from the editor of Time Asia, who was in the thick of it. Interesting things learned:
1. China still treats Hong Kong as a foreign country even though it supposedly is part of China now.
2. The virus that caused SARS is a form of corona virus, usually associated with the common cold. Obviously this was a form that humans were immunologically naive to.
3. It came from palm civets, a relative of the skunk.
4. We are lucky it was not as contagious as the flu.
5. We
May 28, 2009 Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a superb and in depth account of the SARS outbreak in the Far East that covers all the right points and goes into depth with clarity and easy to understand prose.

Highly recommended reading for everyone in this day and age and shows the importance of clear and prompt communication with regards to outbreaks and disease.
May 07, 2009 Kristine rated it really liked it
Two of my favorite subjects, China and pandemics unite in a terrific book. This is exciting and terrifying as the Hot Zone.

One star deducted because the writing faltered at times with lame humor-like comparing Jennifer Lopez to a virus.

Apr 28, 2009 Patricia rated it it was amazing
A must read for travelers and especially with this Swine Flu situation. I was not sure that I would like it but the format is great and interesting.
Oct 09, 2012 Sabra rated it really liked it
Very like "And the Band Played On" on triple fast forward. A terrifying tale of just how vulnerable humanity is to a viral epidemic.
Nov 08, 2011 Susan rated it it was ok
The book started off pretty exciting but then got very repetitive, telling variations of the same scenario over and over.
John Morris
Nov 19, 2010 John Morris rated it it was amazing
Great researched story. Makes one realise how close we came to absolute disaster.
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I'm the author of six books, including the recent novel Triburbia, the story collection NowTrends, the memoir Boy Alone and the Japanese youth culture collection Speed Tribes
More about Karl Taro Greenfeld...

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