Inside the Hot Zone: A Soldier on the Front Lines of Biological Warfare
Inside the Hot Zone is an insider's account of one of the deadliest offices on earth: the United States Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID for short. Retired U.S. Army Captain Mark G. Kortepeter, MD, a leading biodefense expert, takes the reader with him as he moves from the lecture hall to the role of Department Chief, to the battlefield, to inside the Biosafety Level-4 maximum containment lab, and finally, to the corner office. During his seven and a half years in leadership at USAMRIID, the United States was threatened by the most pivotal events in modern germ warfare, including the 2003 Iraq War's biological weapons fears, the anthrax letters of 2001, and a little-known crisis involving a presumed botulism attack on the President of the United States. Inside the Hot Zone is shocking, frightening, and occasionally amusing as Kortepeter tells the rest of the story - how he and his USAMRIID colleagues handled events related to anthrax, botulism, smallpox, Lassa, and Ebola in a cool and thoughtful manner as they unfolded. A modern-day Hawkeye Pierce, Kortepeter brings a rich and riveting narrative as he wrestles with life and death decisions managing biological weapon exposures. The stories are real, but they could easily serve as plotlines in popular fiction or Hollywood thrillers. He gives the reader a seat at the table as each crisis unfolds, with an unvarnished, deep and personal perspective of the dangers, the drama, the fear, the frustrations, the irony, and the uncertainty encountered as a physician in the role of Biodefender in an unusual and occasionally threatening environment.