Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
When I received my copy of DEADLY INVADERS, I had every intention of focusing on two of the diseases I was most familiar with--Avian (Bird) Flu and West Nile Disease. I had never actually heard of Marburg Fever, but quickly realized that a large portion of the book was devoted to this disease, and became intrigued.
The Marburg Story is broken down into six sections: Luanda, Angola; The Hot Zone; Arrival in Uige; Claudia's Funeral; The Outbreak Ends, and Animal Origins. So what is Marburg Fever? The Marburg virus is found in Africa, Asia, and South America, and is called a viral hemorrhagic fever. Outbreaks tend to erupt without warning, and although they cause rapidly fatal diseases, the illnesses start out with ordinary flu symptoms--headache, fever, aches and pains, an occasional rash, diarrhea and vomiting. What causes Marburg Fever to become deadly, though, is the fact that about half of the victims who suffer from the flu-like symptoms then begin to bleed, both internally and externally. What often follows is a breakdown of vital organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver from the fluid that is leaking out of the blood vessels.
Sounds horrifically painful, doesn't it? It is, and although right now it's only been found in the aforementioned countries and has come to an end, it could arise again, and even be spread to other parts of the globe. One of the most important things I learned by reading DEADLY INVADERS is how easily a virus, whether one that is air-born or one that can only be contracted through direct contact of bodily fluids, can be spread. With the ease of travel from one country to another, and with short incubation periods for viruses with little or no obvious symptoms in the beginning, it is not unlikely that an epidemic of some sort will one day spread across the Earth.
Besides Marburg Fever, there are six other diseases profiled in DEADLY INVADERS: Avian (Bird) Flu, HIV and AIDS, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, West Nile Disease, SARS, and Monkeypox. Each virus has specific symptoms, and none have cures. It is up to medical professionals across the world to work together to find vaccines for these diseases, so that we're prepared in the face of eventual outbreaks.
This is definitely an informative book. If you've ever wondered about the likelihood of outbreaks of Bird Flu or West Nile Disease in the United States, or if diseases that thrive in third-world countries will ever be a threat to those in the developed world, you need to read DEADLY INVADERS. The threat is there, and it's up to all of us to get ready.