Monday, September 9, 2019


This recent non-fiction book by Richard Preston, a noted writer and journalist with an interest in infectious diseases, is already a best seller. Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of Outbreaks to Come is a tour de force of the latest Ebola epidemic in 2013-2015 in Africa.  The author discusses the people and the caregivers as well as the scientific achievements related to the virus.

Preston starts by describing the African people who are confused and terrorized by this disease that has spread from the Central African Republic to Sierra Leon, Liberia, five other countries, and three continents. The clinical appearance of the victims includes hemorrhages from every part of the body, projectile vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. African, European and American nurses, physicians and epidemiologists come to the affected areas in a desperate but vain attempt to stem the disease. Many of them are from Doctors Without Borders. The author describes hospitals that have been deserted with vomit, feces, and body fluids left around. Scientific efforts to determine the genetic make up of the virus as well as several new antibodies and drugs never yet tried in humans.

Although this book is certainly everything anyone would want to know about the Ebola epidemic, it may not be for the casual reader because of the repetitive descriptions of the victims.

As a more palatable alternative to Preston’s superb story, I offer a book called The Ebola Connection, which I published in 2017.  This book contains a description of the same Ebola epidemic described by Preston.

My story is about the lives of two brothers that are tragically shattered by war and calamity. My description of The Ebola Connection is accurate although fictionalized, and may be found in my blog of November 26, 2018.