Anthrax: The Investigation of a Deadly Outbreak

Anthrax: The Investigation of a Deadly Outbreak

By: Jeanne Guillemin (author)Paperback

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In April of 1979 the city of Sverdlovsk in Russia's Ural Mountains was struck by a frightening anthrax epidemic. Official Soviet documents reported sixty-four human deaths resulting from the ingestion of tainted meat sold on the black market, but U.S. intelligence sources implied a different story, and the lack of documentation left unresolved questions. In her riveting investigation of the incident, Jeanne Guillemin unravels the mystery of what really happened during that tragic event in Sverdlovsk. Anthrax is a virulent and deadly bacteria whose spores can remain in soil for as long as seventy years, killing grazing animals and putting humans in jeopardy of eating infected meat. Contemporary concern is more centered on anthrax as an airborne biological weapon whose inhaled spores can result in ninety percent mortality for those infected. As part of a team of doctors and researchers, Jeanne Guillemin traveled to Russia in 1992 to determine the cause and extent of the epidemic. Her affecting narrative transforms a case of epidemiological investigation into a politically charged mystery. She creates a vivid sense of immediacy and drama with her insider's account of the team's investigative work--the analysis of pathology photos and slides, meetings with political and public health officials, the retrieval of essential medical data--and candidly reveals the subjective side of science as she conducts interviews with afflicted families, visits sites, and interacts with those suspected of clouding the truth. Complete with medical case information and three epidemiological maps, this classic account relates directly to growing concern over bioterrorism and how the United States and other nations should respond. In the final chapters Guillemin surveys past and present covert biological weapons arsenals scattered around the world and the international legal efforts to eliminate them.

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About Author

Jeanne Guillemin is Professor of Sociology at Boston College and a senior fellow at the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


List of Figures Preface Principal Participants 1. Anthrax: Accursed Fire and Biological Weapon 2. Moscow: Fragments of Evidence 3. Moscow: Conflicting Visions 4. In the Urals: The Quest Begins 5. Autopsy Visions 6. The Community of the Dead: Vostochniy Cemetery 7. Abramova's Treasure 8. To Chkalovskiy Rayon 9. Constraints, Fears, Frustrations 10. on Doors 11. Public Health and Private Pain 12. The Unnatural Steals the Natural 13. Resignation 14. Vulnerability and Chance 15. The KGB List of Victims 16. Moscow Redux 17. Names Go to Places: Map Building Begins 18. Biological Weapons and Political Outbreaks 19. Manifestation 20. Mirage: The Animal Outbreak 21. Chkalovskiy: The Final Pieces 22. Do No Evil, See No Evil 23. The Summing Up 24. The Threat of Bioweapons 25. Return to Yekaterinburg 26. "The World Is Global" App. A. List of 1979 Sverdlovsk Anthrax Fatalities App. B. Summary of Case Data for Known Victims of the Sverdlovsk Anthrax Outbreak of 1979 Notes References Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 16/02/2001
  • ISBN13: 9780520229174
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 339
  • ID: 9780520229174
  • weight: 463
  • ISBN10: 0520229177

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