When SARS broke out 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 emptying pharmacy shelves and boiling vinegar to "purify" the air in nearby Guangdong province, Greenfeld and his staff soon found themselves immersed in the story of a lifetime. His taut, scientific thriller, in the tradition of "The Hot Zone" and "The Great Influenza," takes readers on a gripping ride that blows through the Chinese government's effort to cover up the disease. Greenfeld deftly tracks this mysterious killer outbreak, from the bedside of one of the first Chinese victims to overwhelmed hospital wards crashing from the onslaught of cases, from cutting-edge labs where researchers struggle to identify the virus to the war rooms at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva.
Infectious diseases have reemerged as one of the globe's most pressing problems. In this thorough, revelatory account of SARS, Greenfeld gives us a crucial blueprint for how an epidemic evolves. "China Syndrome" will make you realize how lucky youare to be alive -- and wonder how long that good luck will hold....Continua