The Devil's Flu by Pete Davies
The World's Deadliest Influenza Epidemic and the Scientific Hunt for the Virus That Caused It

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Synopsis

A gripping account of the 1918 flu pandemic and the modern-day hunt for this elusive and deadly virus

In 1918, a flu virus more lethal than any that has come along since swept through the world, from the remotest villages in Arctic climates to crowded U.S.cities to the battlefields of Europe, killing forty million people. Yet, despite its devastating toll and the probability that other deadly pandemics await on the horizon, it was relegated to a footnote in history. The Devil's Flu is the extraordinary story of 1918's forgotten tragedy and of the global scientific community's effort to avert another such disaster.

The 1918 flu still so intrigues and frightens experts in the field that in 1998, a group of respected scientists journeyed to the Norwegian Arctic Circle in search of the mysterious killer. In The Devil's Flu, Davies captures the excitement of the hunt and the intense rivalries within the scientific community, and paints a vivid portrait of the eccentric scientists bent on capturing the prize information that could hold the key to our future safety. And as far as the next pandemic is concerned, scientists agree: it's not a question of if, but when.
 

About Pete Davies

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Pete Davies is the author of a number of critically acclaimed works of nonfiction, including Inside the Hurricane and The Devil's Flu. He lives in West Yorkshire, England.
 
Published October 15, 2000 by Holt Paperbacks. 320 pages
Genres: History, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Despite confusing chronological leaps, frequent blurring of purpose, and much repetition (particularly in digressions on genetics), the information provided here is ignored at our own peril.

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Most of us nowadays look upon the flu as an inconvenience rather than a morphing creature that can periodically reappear in devastating strains, but, as the author makes clear, it is not a question of if so much as when the next virulent flu will kill millions.

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