“During my career I’ve found leaders a scarce commodity. The world is full of managers and directors, but they’re not leaders.” – Colonel Nathan Zinsky, M.D.
A young man is brought into the ER at University Community Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky suffering from what appears to be a particularly nasty case of the flu. Upon learning that the man is employed at a poultry farm, Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Mercato Marcus is the first to recognize there is something much more serious going on.
Suspecting a case of H5N1 avian influenza (“bird flu”), Dr. Marcus sounds the alarm to the Centers for Disease Control. Her bosses, however, are more concerned with the hospital’s image should a panic ensue and it turns out that Dr. Marcus was wrong… she is not.
Unfortunately, the virus’s point of origin being a poultry farm allows for its lightening fast spread: migrant workers, infected but not yet symptomatic, disperse home for the holidays; long haul truckers who truck out the season’s last shipments unwittingly spread the virus at every stop along their routes; a group of global investors looking to acquire the farm are exposed during a tour of the facilities and take the virus back to their home countries with them.
The President tries to control the situation on the domestic front by quarantining several counties surrounding the hospital, but he is met with resistance from the Governor of Kentucky who sees the crisis as a chance to make a show of power for his constituents. So much time is lost to the posturing and playing of politics that by the time Colonel Nathan Zinsky, M.D. from the Centers for Disease Control finally arrives in Louisville University Community Hospital has become ground zero for a global pandemic, the worst since the “Spanish Flu” pandemic of 1918.
Author D.W. Hardin’s unique background in both emergency medicine and law enforcement lends Hidden and Imminent Dangers an unmistakable aura of legitimacy. Every action taken by the medical personnel and police officers rings true, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the character of Mac MacIntosh, a former medic in the Special Forces currently working as an RN in the ER of University Community Hospital.
Given today’s highly mobile society the scenario presented in Hidden and Imminent Dangers is not only entirely possible, it’s just a matter of time some experts argue. An immensely enjoyable medical thriller, Hidden and Imminent Dangers will leave even the most levelheaded reader with flashbacks to the recent H1N1 influenza (“Swine Flu”) scare and questions as to just how ready we are for the next super-virus that comes along.