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作者:Richard Preston
出版社:Anchor
中譯本:伊波拉浩劫,商周出版

▎這本驚悚寫實的小說紀錄了伊波拉病毒起源。

▎作者以醫學與科技專業視角寫作,閱讀的過程能夠一邊學習 基本醫療知識與字彙,兼具故事性與知識性。

▎內文亦包含了作者親自冒險造訪伊波拉發源地的詳細紀錄。

 

預估閱讀時間:03:10
文章難度:★

 

文/MaxPower

The Hot Zone is a nonfiction medical novel from 1995, as fascinating as it is frightening, about the Ebola virus. Multiple interwoven narratives going entirely around the world -- from Mount Elgon in Kenya to Reston, Virginia in the USA -- bind us into the harrowing account. Medical processes fill the book with gripping details of the way epidemiology and outbreak control work, as well as exactly what makes the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) job so pressing and necessary. This novel is helped along in that by densely-packed, fascinating information mixed with its deadly serious character. As some may recall, in the mid-90s this topic was a source of much anxiety -- Outbreak and 12 Monkeys, for example, both came out in 1995.

《The Hot Zone》出版於1995年,是一本驚悚又迷人的醫學寫實小說,記載關於伊波拉病毒的故事。它帶我們從肯亞的艾爾貢山,繞了大半個地球來到美國維吉尼亞州的雷斯頓。藉著交織的多重故事線,在悲慘的故事環境中探索。書中充滿專業的醫學名詞,緊湊又詳盡的故事線,帶我們了解專業的醫療程序與美國疾 管中心的運作方式,更在其中道出流行病學與傳染病控制為何如此迫切重要,密密麻麻的迷人資訊與嚴肅的要命的角色,更讓人深刻感受 這樣的氛圍。或許有人會想起,這種令大眾焦慮不安的題材,在90年代中期非常流行,例如《Outbreak》(危機總動員)、《12 Monkeys》(未來總動員)兩部類似題材的電影,皆在1995年上映。

 

Beginning in the Kenyan jungle with the story of the likely "zero patient", the author analytically explains the disease's progression and purpose, showing us how a doctor approaches this kind of situation. Though fortunately only small-scale outbreaks have happened thus far since the virus' emergence, we can see exactly how close to crisis humanity has come through epidemics and the evolution of modern diseases. Later, the story drives us through different kinds of procedures for biosafety and why "filoviruses" (Ebola, Marburg, etc) are so significant to the modern world.

故事從肯亞叢林中一個疑似「原發病例」開 始,作者帶我們化作一名醫生,以受過訓練的專業態度,鉅細彌遺的解析疾病的進程與作用。雖然很幸運的,自從這種病毒出現迄今,爆發的規模並不大,我們依然可以藉此看見,因為現代疾病的進化與流行,人類面臨存亡危機是多麼的近。接著,故事帶著我們繼續了解如何維護生物安全,以及「絲狀病毒」為現今世界帶來的影響。

 

The book's second incidence details the discovery of the Reston virus (one of the five viruses in the Ebolavirus genus) as it surfaced in freshly-important laboratory monkeys. A U.S. Army virologist leads us to witness the work of the organizations that protect us, in addition to the grim truths that drive their logic and decisions. The book also includes documentation of the author's firsthand hazmat suited visit to Kitum Cave, which was then speculated to be the home of Ebola's elusive carrier.

本書的第二部分,詳細記述了雷斯頓病毒(伊波拉病毒五個亞種病毒之一)實驗室猴子大量死亡事件而受到關注的過程。一位美軍病毒學家,帶領我們見證政府機關在嚴峻現實的催逼下,仍試圖保護人民的作為。本書同時收錄了作者冒險前往中非基藤岩洞調查的第一手資訊,當時推測該處可能是伊波拉謎樣傳播途徑的巢穴。

 

If you've ever wondered how doctors working with the most extreme pathogens ("hot agents") handle themselves, this is the book to read. The writing carries a meticulously researched and electrically engaging technical perspective, rich with insight and close vision that only a truly good read can provide — it's easy to see why it made American Scientist's list 100 books that shaped a century of science. Pick up The Hot Zone for a thrilling, intense narrative run through the medical sciences as they attempt to cope with the skyrocketing threat presented by this new breed of disease.

如果你好奇醫生們如何處理世上最危險的病原體,看這本書就對了。藉著本書文字精心研究且專業到位的科技觀點,加上優良讀物才能提供的清晰洞見,我們很輕易能了解它為何會被列在美國科學雜誌《American Scientist》的「形塑本世紀科學的100本讀物」清單中。趕快翻開《The Hot Zone》,跟著作者緊湊的敘事一探醫療科學的究竟,並體驗書中角色面對新疾病全面來襲的驚悚歷程。

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