Virus Hunter

by C. J. Peters. 323 pages, hardcover. Anchor Books, New York, 1996. ISBN 0-385-48557-3 $23.95

Charles H. Calisher Colorado State University AIDL, Foothills Campus, Fort Collins, CO 80523

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What with anecdotal reports of terrifying viruses, bacteria, and parasites of mice, men, and salads, it has occurred to some of us that the world may be going out of balance. This could be the ultimate price to be paid for dumping trash in oceans and air and for eating things grown in stuff we once would have flushed. As we outstrip the carrying capacity of our ecosystem, organisms that once quietly went about their business in rain forests, deserts, and plains, now are in our cupboards and neighbors and increasingly have become big news. Likely, these sources of job security have been there all the time but we had not noticed, for one reason or another. Now that we are doing a better job at recognition, the public is clamoring for motion pictures, TV programs, and books about these dramatic diseases. Such tales are all the more frightening than Stephen King stories because they are real.