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 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]


When the director of a Los Angeles health maintenance clinic succumbs, along with seven patients, to an untreatable and virulently contagious virus, Atlanta's Center for Disease Control goes on red alert. Unless the virus is isolated and checked, mankind may be facing its gravest medical crisis since the Black Death.

Assigned by the CDC to investigate the disease, Dr. Marissa Blumenthal is soon caught up in the ultimate nightmare. The California case is merely the first in a burgeoning series of outbreaks that occur in unrelated geographical areas but with puzzling commonalities: The locations are always health-care facilities, and the victims are only physicians and their patients. As her investigation takes increasingly bizarre turns, Marissa finds that behind the natural threat lurks a far more sinister possibility: sabotage.

Before she discovers the truth, Marissa must overcome her superiors' fury, her colleagues' doubts and the wrath of a powerful cabal, sworn to achieve its aims, no matter what the cost in human life, including Marissa's.

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