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Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  3,497 ratings  ·  573 reviews
The 2013–2014 Ebola epidemic was the deadliest ever—but the outbreaks continue. Now comes a gripping account of the doctors and scientists fighting to protect us, an urgent wake-up call about the future of emerging viruses—from the #1 bestselling author of The Hot Zone, soon to be a National Geographic original miniseries.

This time, Ebola started with a two-year-old child
...more
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Random House
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Scooter McDermitt As Rebecca said below, some people received the book as an ARC. Most of my reading is through ARCs these days and I have books that aren't going to be…moreAs Rebecca said below, some people received the book as an ARC. Most of my reading is through ARCs these days and I have books that aren't going to be published until late 2019 and early 2020. The publisher does this to receive feedback from readers, to generate buzz, and learn what resonates with the early readers to shape their advertising campaign. (less)

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Mario the lone bookwolf
A biomedical, microbiological and terrifying trip to tiny superpredators and some thoughts about how they may evolve and be (mis)used.

The suffering of the populations of these countries is as unbelievable and the courage of the help workers who had to fight against fake news denying the existence of ebola, people stealing infected family members from hospitals and the tradition of rinsing the bodies of the deceased to bathe in the same water. Tragic cases of misleading cultural norms that made
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Matthew
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5+++++ stars – but proceed with caution!

While I was kind of goofy with my status messages throughout this book, I would definitely say that was a defense mechanism. This book is very serious and very scary. Touted as a sequel to Preston’s enthralling book, The Hot Zone, this book is equally mesmerizing! I have no problem declaring Preston the master of Non-Fiction bio-hazard books. If you have any interest in how scary nature can be, you must check his work out!

Again, this book is 100% fact – an
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Yun
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Crisis in the Red Zone tells of the horrific 2013-2014 Ebola epidemic that engulfed Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, and eventually infected almost 30,000 people. While the virus stretched the financial and medical infrastructure of these three countries, the book focuses geographically on the Makona Triangle, where the virus first grabbed hold and exploded, and on Kenema Government Hospital as it quickly became overwhelmed beyond its limits as the only hospital in Sierra Leone with a function ...more
Bradley
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I came into this book with both curiosity and some slight trepidation that it might not quite mesh with my current active interest in the Coronavirus. Different kinds of sickness, speed, and symptoms. Ebola is much more deadly, while Coronavirus had the potential to spread across the world and kill even more.

Even so, I dove in and quickly fell into a story that was almost pure horror. It was worse because everything in it was true.

Do you want descriptions that would turn the stomachs of even th
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Trish
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ebola. One of the scariest words in the human language. Because it's one of the scariest viruses one can imagine.

There is not too much known about it. The symptoms, of course, because we see the suffering of the infected. But we have no idea where it came from, how long it's been on this planet, how it evolved or anything like that.
We do know that there are 6 different types of ebola virus so far but considering how fast viruses can mutate, that doesn't mean too much. The six types are named aft
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Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tucker by: Matthew

Many thanks to Random House for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

I would like to start this review by warning you guys that this book is depressing as f**k. I felt as though the basic message was: Ebola came to eradicate humanity but it failed but don’t worry! It will be back to kill us all.

Crisis in the Red Zone is the story of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. I distinctly remember that time because my anxiety was through the roof. During that time, I was compulsively washing my hand
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Donna Backshall
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who is interested in world health
Wow, wow, just wow. A good thriller is that much scarier when IT'S FREAKING REAL.

Review to come, but first I need to bathe, to scrub my skin raw and try to shake the feeling that everything and everyone I've come in contact with is teeming with the ebola virus. Seriously, I'm terrified. We all should be.
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Okay, review time!

Richard Preston can write a true thriller like no one else I've read. He gets into the grit of recent events as they unfold and puts us RIGHT
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Faith
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
“[The Ebola outbreak] was really just a series of small accidents and unnoticed events, which, moment by moment, grew into a crescendo of horror. This was the shockwave produced by an emerging virus as it came out of the ecosystem. The virus magnified itself in people, swept away lives, met opposition from the human species, and finally died out. What will the next shockwave be like?”

This is an informative book that didn’t quite mesh with my own personal interests. It traces the spread of Ebola
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David Schaafsma
I don't usually read #1 NY Times bestsellers, nor books that are described as "medical thrillers," but here we are in late July with millions of people infected worldwide with Covid 19, so I nevertheless decided to read Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and the Outbreaks to Come, and was, in short, riveted. And disgusted by the level of detail with respect to the dead and dying. And moved to tears as people we come to know face death and ethical decisi ...more
Jeanette
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This is thorough but at the same time not as good in continuity, progression, ease to read. Much harder to understand all the tangent parts as in his other disease study- The Hot Zone.

Well worth the read time regardless- yet it's all over the place with 100's of name calls and situations that are difficult to connote all together in the way they are placed and in a chronological pattern which is convoluted, IMHO . It still lets you know pertinent information about the present day 6 strains of E
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Susan
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Richard Preston has written another comprehensible and terrifying account of the Ebola disease that could turn into a global disaster if we aren't careful. Crises in the Red Zone chronicles the outbreak of 2013-14 and the fact that it jumped continents for the first time infecting people in America. This book is horrifying and graphic and the doctors and nurses who cared for these patients without thinking of their own safety and knowing they would most likely die is truly amazing and are the he ...more
Paltia
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everything you want to know about Ebola and more. This is a medical history story that reads like a thriller. There’s lots of players to keep track of, some medical miracles and lucky discoveries by otherwise unemployed entrepreneurs. This book carries a dire warning of the continued need to stay on top of best practice for viral outbreaks. Mistrust of outsiders, belief in local and known healers, and lack of proper equipment, medication and supplies all figure in to this outbreak. There are man ...more
Laura Noggle
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, history, nonfiction
Exhausting — yet essential reading.

This book has a slight edge over The Hot Zone IMO, although they're both exceptional nonfiction reads.

Not sure it was particularly wise to read these two back-to-back this month, but they really did put things into perspective.

Thankfully we are not currently facing an Ebola outbreak that averages a BLOODY death toll of between 25-90%.

So on one hand, I'm relieved that the average death rate of the current pandemic is MUCH lower, and way less gory than that of E
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Alex Givant
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
With current corona-virus outbreak it's good to get some perspective on other deadly viruses such as Ebola. Did you know that 1.5 millions die annually from TB alone? How about regular flu - around 60 thousands gone last year. When was last time you worried about TB or flu? We are scared of wrong stuff, stuff they show us on TV with "Breaking News" red color frame. Read the book and get information and most important of all things - wash your hands often!
Jaksen
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Cripes, substitute 'coronavirus' for every mention of ebola, and there you go, that's what happens, that's how you make mistakes, that's how you do - or DO NOT - contain a deadly pandemic.

Okay, I know the two are not remotely the same thing, biologically-speaking, and that one is far worse in terms of deaths, horrible symptoms, difficulty of treatment, and so on, but the methodology for dealing with diseases that spread quickly, easily, and can go from a dozen cases to thousands in just a few we
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Cedricsmom
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not as good as the Hot Zone, but definitely worth a read. My main complaint is the amount of repetition. Preston thanks the book’s editor by name, so we know the book had one, but what happened? Perhaps the editor had more pressing responsibilities. My other complaint is that it wasn’t necessary for Preston to meander into the area of scare tactics; Ebola is plenty frightening enough without that. Particularly at the end of the book, he starts with the “what if‘s“, a bunch of questions that no o ...more
Annie
Aug 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
NYTimes Book Review here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/08/bo...

NYTimes Book Review NONFICTION
Can You Make a Page-Turning Thriller Out of the Ebola Crisis?
By Kendra Pierre-Louis
Aug. 8, 2019

CRISIS IN THE RED ZONE

The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come

By Richard Preston

Richard Preston has a penchant for the cinematic, even when his subject matter could not be more depressing and dire. His best-selling 1994 book, “The Hot Zone,” about an Ebola outbr
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Toya
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read The Hot Zone over a decade ago, and I instantly fell in love with Richard Preston’s writing. As someone who has always loved science, especially virology, Ebola was always the virus that I found to be the most fascinating and also most terrifying. It’s one of the simplest viruses (as contagious as the common cold), it has the capacity to cross-species jump and evolve, and it completely decimates the human immune system in just 7-10 days (something that takes YEARS for HIV to do). That bei ...more
Ben
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
I'm not sure what happened here. Maybe they didn't have time for any editing? The story moves ponderously. Maybe that's fine; the details engross us more. But the writing is repetitive—very, very repetitive. It's enough to say a fact once or twice. I don't need to be told 500 times that ZMapp hadn't been tested on humans. Reading pages and pages about a character's inability to make up his mind is also tedious. Finally, I think Preston misses the scope. There is a very narrow central crisis, and ...more
Angus McKeogh
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Perhaps not as gripping as some of his other books on plagues, this one still carried the relevant gravitas to continue pushing the story forward and make the reader wonder what was going to happen next. As with a lot of modern news there’s a bit of a flash in the pan effect. Big story one day disappears days later because something else comes up. I remember a flare up of Ebola in the United States years back and some people vanishing into quarantine for treatment at the NIH; thereafter the stor ...more
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
Full RTC—why oh why did I listen to this in the middle of a pandemic???
Amanda
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
Having just recently read Richard Preston's hit book The Hot Zone, I was excited to see that he was releasing a follow up dealing with the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa in 2013-2014. I loved The Hot Zone and had even watched the National Geographic miniseries based upon the book. However, I must say I was deeply disappointed in Preston's newest Ebola story.

Crisis in the Red Zone tells the story of the recent spread of Ebola through Africa, particularly in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Starting with
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Bridgette
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous! Crisis in the Red Zone riveted me from the start. It details the Ebola epidemic from a few years ago, focusing on a hospital in Sierra Leone and another one in Liberia. I learned a TON.

I would probably recommend waiting to read this until the COVID 19 stuff calms down. If that ever happens. Richard Preston does not spare you the details. He is concise, unflinching, even blunt. Due to that, I recommend holding off on reading this if you are even a bit anxious about COVID19.

Near the end
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Annie
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
At the end of the book, the author poses a question: what would happen if a serious, contagious virus exploded in New York?

“[Perhaps] a dry virus with high mortality that infects people through the lungs. We can imagine . . . police officers wearing full PPE gear. People needing ambulances—no ambulances. Hospitals gone medieval. Medical staff absent, dying, overwhelmed. Hospital beds full. Medical examiner facilities gone hot as hell and crammed with corpses. Nobody in their right mind would en
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Liralen
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
What would it be like if a Level 4 virus event occurred and the Ancient Rule arrived in the supercity of New York? It wouldn't take much to produce the Ancient Rule in New York City. A dry virus with high mortality that infects people through the lungs. No vaccine, no medical treatment for the virus. If you take the subway, if you ride in an elevator, you can be infected, too. If the Ancient Rule came to New York City, we can imagine people lying facedown on the street or in Central Park, crowds
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Elizabeth
Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come
Author: Richard Preston
Pages: 400
Genre: Science
Pub date: July 23,2019
The 2103-2014 was the deadliest ever--but the outbreaks continue. Now comes a gripping account of the doctors and scientists fighting to protect us, an urgent wake-up call about the future of emerging viruses--from the #1 bestselling author of The Hot Zone, soon to be a National Geographic original miniseries.

This time, Eb
...more
Jak Krumholtz
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Preston excels at writing non-fiction thrillers.

I was really bummed out about distracted US officials checking World Cup scores during meetings and ignoring early warnings about the Ebola outbreak.

“In the end Garry couldn’t get anybody in the U.S. Government to arrange actual immediate help for Kenema, or, he thought, to consider the possibility that a crises in a small hospital in Africa might actually be a crises for every person in North America. They finally took it seriously when Ebola got
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Tapasya
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the ongoing Corona Virus outbreak, I have got into reading these books about viruses and deadly diseases.
This book was very informative. I liked the way how the book traces back to the origin of the Ebola virus and how it spread. The whole storylike description from the beginning of the virus was just amazing.

Virus, be it of any type, are dangerous.

“Ebola virus moves from one person to the next by following the deepest and most personal ties of love, care, and duty that join people to one
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Tracy
This was riveting. I did have to take some breaks as the subject matter is very grim and sad. But I found this fascinating. The jumps around the time line between the two different outbreaks was a little confusing, but the date heads each change in the timeline.
Shara Vitone
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, science, history
WARNING: reading this will turn even the most optimistic person into a doomsday prepper.

This book reads like a horrifying Hollywood thriller but the disturbing twist is....

IT IS NON FICTION!!!

Until now I have enjoyed reading apocalyptic world-ending tragedies but I have had my fill of world-ending scenerios, especially after learning just how close our society is on the brink of a real life pandemic outbreak. I have nightmares of Preston's vivid description of a full blown hemorrhagic fever an
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Play Book Tag: Crisis in the Red Zone by Richard Preston -- 4 stars 12 17 Feb 14, 2020 02:16AM  

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