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When the SARS virus broke out in China in January 2003, Karl Taro Greenfeld was the editor of Time Asia in Hong Kong, just a few miles from the epicenter of the outbreak. After vague, initial reports of terrified Chinese boiling vinegar to "purify" the air, Greenfeld and his staff soon found themselves immersed in the story of a lifetime.
Deftly tracking a mysterious viral killer from the bedside of one of the first victims to China's overwhelmed hospital wards--from cutting-edge labs where researchers struggle to identify the virus to the war rooms at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva--China Syndrome takes readers on a gripping ride that blows through the Chinese government's effort to cover up the disease . . . and sounds a clarion call warning of a catastrophe to come: a great viral storm potentially more deadly than any respiratory disease since the influenza of 1918.
A work of riveting, relevant journalism...a dexterous approach that recalls Randy Shilts’s AIDS history And the Band Played On.
-The Village Voice
A taut scientific thriller, well told.
Greenfeld moves quickly, often conjuring a thriller, and his personal and professional involvement give his account...a unique perspective.
Greenfeld... ponders the nature and purpose of viruses as he paints a gloomy picture of what we...can expect next.
-Booklist (starred review)
“This book is a parable for our times.”