Author: David Quammen
Rating: 5 Stars
Review By: Shana
Quammen is a science writer par excellence when covering pandemics and zoonosis. His Spillover remains a masterpiece, covering a wide range of diseases that jump from animals to humans, examining the paths they take, how the diseases evolve and how they impact humans and animals alike, and the scientists and medical professionals who study and combat such diseases. In Ebola (published 2014), Quammen has excerpted the portion of Spillover (originally published in 2012) dealing with Ebola, and updated it with information and events from the intervening years.
Namely, this iteration was written in the throes of the 2014 Ebola outbreak (or, more accurately, the 2013 outbreak that managed to spread internationally in 2014). In it, he covers what is known of Ebola, and also what frustratingly remains hidden, including the reservoir species that houses Ebola when it isn't crossing over into primates (from gorillas and chimps, to humans). As he does in Spillover, in this slim volume he spends a great deal of time and thought to the impact this disease has on animals, rather than only caring about the human costs.
All in all, an excellent summing up of the history of Ebola, and what we know and what we still have to learn. Even better, for those who have yet to read Spillover, this provides entrée into Quammen's work and should whet the appetite for more.
My love of reading was sparked in 3rd grade by the promise of personal pan pizzas via the BOOK IT! Program. Hmmmm... any chance that someone might give adults free food for reading? Asking for a friend...