Contagion by Robin Cook

Don

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The triplet of unrelated incidents, which occur on June 12, 1991, bear little in common: A microbiologist adds a rare 1918 virus to his collection when he performs unauthorized archaeology at an abandoned igloo buried beneath a snowpack near Prudhoe Bay. Ophthalmologist John Stapleton loses his young family to an airplane crash. And mother-to-be Terese Hagen loses her unborn baby, her uterus, and her husband all on the same day. Five years later these events culminate in a crisis at Manhattan General, an AmeriCare hospital.

When Winter wanes into Spring 1996, three highly contagious diseases: black death, tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, show up in as many days at Manhattan General. Were they not fictional, this trio of infectious narratives, from the first half of Contagion, would each befit its own chapter in The Medical Detectives by Berton Roueche: 9780452265882 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books, an unofficial textbook for medical students. In fact, a few cases covered by The Medical Detectives can function as a practical primer for this story.

Lives hang in the balance as Medical Examiner Jack Stapleton races against time to track down the source of recent outbreaks of black death, tularemia, rickettsia, and finally flu, in New York City. In all cases, Manhattan General Hospital is indicated as the sole source of the diseases. At first, for reasons revealed later, Stapleton's schadenfreude surfaces over the outbreak at an AmeriCare facility. It also assists ad executive Terese Hagen, whose clientele includes an AmeriCare rival.

(excerpt, read the remainder of the review at "Contagion" (Cook) Review by Don Kuenz )
 
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