Ebola Virus Haemorrhagic Fever

edited by S. R. Pattyn. Proceedings of an International Colloquium on Ebola Virus Infection and Other Haemorrhagic Fevers held in Antwerp, Belgium, 6–8 December 1977. 436 pp. Elsevier North-Holland, Inc., 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017. 1978. $57.00

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  • Department of Tropical Medicine University of Hawaii School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

Ebola Virus Haemorrhagic Fever edited by S. R. Pattyn chronicles the investigations of two nearly simultaneous outbreaks of a mysterious and highly lethal infectious diseases which erupted in Central Africa during the summer of 1976. Less than a year and one half later, most of the participants in this drama assembled in Antwerp, Belgium for the first International Colloquium on Ebola Virus. For the foreseeable future this excellently conceived and edited volume will be an authoritative reference on all aspects of Ebola virus. Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever may be the classic medical example of real life mimicking fiction. Viewing electron micrographs of a snarl of hair-like Ebola viruses and juxtaposing these with accounts of a devastating epidemic, it is difficult to suppress the suspicion that this is the extraterrestrial Andromeda strain described by Chrichton ten years ago. There exists in descriptions of Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever a quality of excitement and fantasy evocative of a fictional event.