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A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic “hot” virus. tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their “crashes” into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

This book describes events between 1967 and 1993. The incubation period of the viruses in this book is less than twenty-four days. No one who suffered from any of the viruses or who was in contact with anyone suffering from them can catch or spread the viruses outside of the incubation period. None of the living people referred to in this book suffer from a contagious disease. The viruses cannot survive independently for more than ten days unless the viruses are preserved and frozen with special procedures and laboratory equipment. Thus none of the locations in Reston or the Washington, D.C. area described in this book is infective or dangerous.

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Bizarre illnesses and plagues that kill people in the most unspeakable ways. Obsessive and inspired efforts by scientists to solve mysteries and save lives. From to The Demon in the Freezer and beyond, Richard Preston’s bestselling works have mesmerized readers everywhere by showing them strange worlds of nature they never dreamed of.

Panic in Level 4

• The phenomenon of “self-cannibals,” who suffer from a rare genetic condition caused by one wrong letter in their DNA that forces them to compulsively chew their own flesh–and why everyone may have a touch of this disease.

• The search for the unknown host of Ebola virus, an organism hidden somewhere in African rain forests, where the disease finds its way into the human species, causing outbreaks of unparalleled horror.

• The brilliant Russian brothers—“one mathematician divided between two bodies”—who built a supercomputer in their apartment from mail-order parts in an attempt to find hidden order in the number pi (π).

In fascinating, intimate, and exhilarating detail, Richard Preston portrays the frightening forces and constructive discoveries that are currently roiling and reordering our world, once again proving himself a master of the nonfiction narrative and, as noted in , “a science writer with an uncommon gift for turning complex biology into riveting page-turners.”

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