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Chapter 19 : Experiences of a Virus Hunter
For the last 30 years the author has been chasing outbreaks of disease—viral diseases that are as rare and as deadly as any that have ever plagued humankind. In this section the author highlights that virus hunters like him would no longer be needed. One of today's challenges is to solve the interfaces and integrations of the multiple disciplines that are needed to attack the most challenging problems. The authors narrate his experience with the navy who needed vaccine to protect the lab crew from a deadly disease. The head of the lab gave the author free rein, and the crew was vaccinated. The cause for this outbreak was discovered and the author and his team could even predict them to some degree through satellite remote sensing. They had a vaccine proven to protect against the virus, and they began setting things up so that when it hits again, they will have an experimental drug ready to be tested in the most severely ill patients. In 1985 the author made several forays into central Africa as part of a team looking for Marburg, Ebola, and other hemorrhagic fever viruses. The team needed to find out the sources of these viruses and find out why the outbreaks suddenly appeared and just as suddenly disappeared.
Key Concept Ranking
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome