Outbreak (novel)

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Author Robin Cook
Cover artist David O'Connor
Language English
Publisher Macmillan London Limited
Publication date
Media type Print ()
Pages 366
ISBN 0-330-30207-8
Preceded by Mindbend
Followed by Mortal Fear

Outbreak is a medical thriller written by Dr. Robin Cook and published in 1987 which deals with an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the United States.

Despite its name and very similar storyline, the book is not connected to the 1995 movie also called Outbreak. The book was made into a television movie in 1995 and released under the title Robin Cook's Virus, later renamed Formula for Death, starring Nicollette Sheridan and William Devane.


Dr. Marissa Blumenthal of the CDC investigates a series of deadly ebola outbreaks. The ebola virus, considered a level 4 pathogen, then plays havoc with the lives of innocent people. The ultimate villain is the ever-helpful doctor friend of Dr. Blumenthal. In the end Dr. Blumenthal is nearly killed by a goon but an FBI agent kills him and she is saved. The person she suspected was innocent and simply had been so caught up in protecting the CDC that he refused to listen and figured out the truth almost too late. Later it is explained to her that due to her investigation the people responsible for the outbreaks were caught and were going to jail for a long time including her former friend and that what they did was being compared to the Nazis. She has become an international epidemiological hero for her actions but she has decided to possibly go back into pediatrics after a vacation she's about to take at the end of the story.