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

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,985 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
A New York Times Notable Book

The man who led the battle against Ebola inThe Hot Zone teams up with the bestselling co-author ofMind Hunterto chronicle his extraordinary thirty-year career fighting deadly viruses.

For three decades, Dr. C. J. Peters was on the front lines of our biological battle against “hot” viruses around the world. In the course of that career, he lea
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 13th 1998 by Anchor (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ticklish Owl
I've read this book nearly every year since it was published, and I still enjoy it. The science in this book is somewhat dated, but you still get an accurate account of what it's really like to work in this field. I wish Peters would write a follow-up to this book.

If you liked this book, you might also enjoy:

Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC - written by Epidemiologists in the field

The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases - written by a journalist with a BS in Immunology, Garrett is currently
Aug 06, 2012 Allison rated it liked it
It was books like this that made me want to be an epidemiologist at one point in my life. And then I realized that I hated studying science.

This book falls in the same line as The Hot Zone, but it is far more clinical than Preston's style. Peters has a long, and interesting history in the field of virology and epidemiology. He gives a very personalized version of major outbreaks over the course of a few decades. It shows his advancement as a doctor and a researcher while also giving the reader a
Betsy Curlin
May 30, 2012 Betsy Curlin rated it liked it
This book is a good account of what it's like working for the CDC and chasing after viral outbreaks around the world. It can be a bit tiresome to read at time, because there is a lot of prose, but if you can stick it out, you will learn a lot about the field experiences that come with this type of work, as well as the hazards of being exposed to deadly viruses. I just wished he had left out more of the stuff about his personal life, and stuck to his professional life.
Elaine Ossipov
Jul 05, 2016 Elaine Ossipov rated it it was amazing
Very good book, great empirical structure to it, the characters are well developed if perhaps a bit shallow as you don't really know anything about their histories before or after the book.

I enjoy medical thriller's and have read many which are not on my shelves. Almost all of Robin Cooks novels, most of the FBI profiling & Serial Killer profiling books,

Virus Hunter was a great one, which I think I need to put on my 're-read' shelf after finally getting around to writing a review on it.

I d
Lori Clark-Erickson
Lexile: 1340
Historical Event/ Time Period: 1950 19s-90 19s
Liked I liked the ideas and stories present in the book. The concept was good as well.
Disliked: It was pretty boring and gave a lot of detail on the diseases, which was gross. Also, it didn 19t fit with any of the projects and isn 19t really historical in any way.
Summary: This is a first person account of C.J. Peters 19 adventures while fighting diseases around the world. It tells his stories about finding diseases and figuring out how to
Feb 20, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it
An excellent look at the career of C.J. Peters, one of the legendary virologists. His work at USAMRIID and the CDC was fascinating and vital to public health; the Ebola Reston crisis happened on his watch, and he handled the situation admirably.

Peters writes in a conversational style that should be fairly well understood by laymen. His technological explanations were, I thought, clear and didn't go into too much confusing detail.

His matter-of-fact tone when it comes to our now-defunct (uh huh)
John Daly
Feb 14, 2015 John Daly rated it it was amazing
C.J. Peters is one of a rare breed. He has gone to the ends of the earth to seek out the most infectious and lethal diseases -- diseases for which there were no treatments -- in order to provide a scientific basis for their control. A highly trained physician and immunologist, spent his life in government agencies and universities when he could easily have earned more in private practice.

Read this unassuming book and you will discover a lot about emerging diseases, especially Ebola and its relat
May 09, 2011 Kenzie rated it liked it
I Finally finished this book. It is certainly not for everyone - there were times when I didn't want to put it down, and also times where I opted to pick up and start another book instead. So it is a book that you need to want to finish.

That said, it is an interesting overview of the world of viruses, as told by C.J. Peters who has vast experience with a number of viruses. Hearing the stories of attempting to identify outbreaks, determine whether or not the virus is new or one that has been seen
Dec 12, 2014 Randall rated it it was amazing
If you have any interest in medical research and/or epidemiology, this book is pretty much mandatory reading. CJ Peters has a very distinguished career in his chosen fields, having been a colonel in USAMRIID as well as the head of Special Pathogens in the CDC.

This book is essentially an autobiography with a focus on his work in chasing viruses.

It's very well written, and I think it could be enjoyable to both the layman as well as the epidemiology geeks.
May 16, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Peters has lead quite the life, travelling around the world chasing viruses. I was really in it for the microbiological/scientific/medical aspect and, at first, was a little concerned about how much personal, straight autobiography there was. As I moved along, though, I found that to be an important part of the book. Reading about his life really gives the reader a great sense of how all-encompasing this particular type of work is. Most people's jobs effect their life, but not always to this gre ...more
May 29, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it
This is a great book for those interested in infectious diseases who want to go into the field. Some others I know who have read the book were bored, but they were expecting more adventure and less science. It's a great book for real, raw information; if you want an adventure book, try fiction.
Dec 18, 2015 Adrian rated it it was ok
Interesting subject matter- it's always fun to learn things you didn't know that you didn't know. Writing is not so great. I think it could have been even more interesting than it was.
Oct 25, 2014 Ruth rated it liked it
There was some excellent science in this book, which is part auto-biography, part virology and other pathogen exploration, and part ego. Read it for the science.
Aug 06, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
Excellent treatise on viruses and the worst-case scenarios that could very well happen.
Apr 03, 2015 Angela rated it really liked it
Very informative and interesting. I learned a lot along with being entertained.
Nov 02, 2009 Jaimie rated it liked it
This book offers good and interesting insight into the world of biotechnology, virology, and the life of a virus hunter. It's more informational that conversational but still an interesting story. I recommend that someone read the Dark Biology series by Richard Preston first to take their first steps into this genre and if still interested, then read this book for additional interesting information. I have read it multiple times and I still enjoy it. This genre is a favorite of mine.
Corey Ferguson
Feb 06, 2016 Corey Ferguson rated it really liked it
Very interesting perspectives on the world of infectious diseases: human error, politics, emotion, and of course evolution.

- Convincing a small tribe to give blood samples with no obvious advantage to the people in that community.
- Politics at play between "competing" organizations.
- Animal testing and euthenasia.
- Working with deadly viruses with no cure + inevitable human error.
- Medical history.
- Some personal background and history of the author.
Mar 01, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amy by: School Library
I won't try to describe all the stuff this guy did, but it's fascinating to hear about all the different viruses he's dealt with.

There's a lot of complex concepts in here, but it's worth trying to figure out.

The only thing I don't like about him is that his first two marriages ended in divorce. Well, I don't think he liked that either, though, so I won't go on about it.

C.J. Peters is one heck of an epidemiologist.
Aug 19, 2016 Jourdan rated it really liked it
Very interesting, he explains his work in a way that is understandable to non-scientists without dumbing it down. I learned a lot from this book.
Mar 09, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it
While at first I was a little put off by the very personal focus of this book (I picked it up expecting something more science and less memoir), I nevertheless found it very engaging and interesting once I realized that my preconceptions were off. CJ Peters' career and the viruses and other pathogens he's studied are both dangerous and fascinating. This book is a fun, fast read.
Oct 04, 2007 Violet_violence rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in science
I just recently finished this book. It was a bit boring at times and very intense at other times. I found it much more interesting to read about the deadlier diseases than the "dull" ones. Go figure. I'm morbid. Anyway, I love epidemiology and virology, so this book was definitely good, but somewhat slow at times.
Feb 16, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
Part autobiography, part medical thriller, this chronicles the career of C.J. Peters, virus hunter. It was an interesting read, and I liked reading about the Reston Ebola outbreak from his point of view, as well as learning about other horrific diseases around the world.
Sep 02, 2009 Carolina rated it liked it
Interesting book about work at CDC and the most sexy stories of being an epidemiologist. I got it when I was just starting my career in this field and was like a dream, I even got my copy autographed by CJ Peters. Unfortunately I got bored and could never finish it
Oct 06, 2010 SherryJo rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in true scientific stories
Learn about epidemics from the point of view of those fighting to control the outbreaks. If you love true scientific stories then this is the story for you but if medical books are you then dont read it.

It turned out to be to detailed for the average joe.
Jan 02, 2012 Barbara rated it liked it
Finally finished I just couldn't get through the last chapter not that it wasn't interesting or that it wasn't scary. I found this book realistically disturbing if any virus ever hits at the right place at the right time we are probably finished.
David Henry
Nov 01, 2012 David Henry rated it liked it
The man had a pretty interesting career, but I was not a big fan of the writing style or commentary. He definitely came off as a twat the way he spoke of his 2nd - or was it 3rd? - wife. No respect for the neglectful family man.
Jun 11, 2008 Veronika rated it really liked it
Why have I had a thirteen-year long obsession with the Ebola virus? I do not know -- there are many mysteries to life. But my alter-ego is a virus hunter, and this would be my memoir. Fighting crime and viruses wherever I go.
Jun 16, 2012 Terri added it
I thought this book was really interesting and I'm glad I read it. It is loaded with details and procedures, so you will only enjoy this if you are into the scientific details.
Aug 19, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
Very good read! If you like viruses and Epidemiology, then you could very well like this book! I enjoyed the information within and the stories as well. Great read!
Melanie Peapell
Mar 05, 2007 Melanie Peapell rated it it was amazing
I love this book and have read it over and over. I enjoy the reality of being a virus hunter. The effect it has on people around you. Plus a good scientific read.
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