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The Virus Within: A Coming Epidemic

by Nicholas Regush

Nicholas Regush is an award-winning science journalist at ABC News and author of The Breaking Point: Understanding Your Potential for Violence. In The Virus Within, he looks at a deadly, little-known virus that may be lurking within many of us.

HHV-6 (Human Herpes Virus 6) is really the main character of The Virus Within. It is possibly linked to AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and chronic fatigue syndrome, and it may be dormant in our bodies, awaiting a trigger to send it ravaging through our cells. For example, the powerful cocktail of vaccines given Gulf War soldiers may have roused HHV-6, or something similar, into virulence.

In examining HHV-6, medical researchers outside the mainstream are wrestling with controversial questions. Is HIV the sole cause of AIDS? Is it even a virus at all? Some scientists have preliminary evidence to support their theories, but if they publish their findings, they may risk losing their grant sources.

Regush covers a complex topic clearly and never loses sight of the story behind the science. The style is journalistic, but the human characters are well portrayed, and the drama of the medical threats we might all be facing – if the more radical suggestions of some of the researchers turn out to be true – is never far away.

The Virus Within is a medical mystery thriller of interest to anyone hoping for advances in the study of deadly diseases. Unfortunately, the final page of the mystery is missing. Is HHV-6 a central culprit? Maybe. There are frightening possibilities in this book, but much more sophisticated research is needed. Perhaps the awareness generated by The Virus Within will encourage it.


Reviewer: John Wilson

Publisher: Viking/Penguin Books Canada


Price: $34.99

Page Count: 352 pp

Format: Cloth

ISBN: 0-670-88788-9

Released: Mar.

Issue Date: 2000-4

Categories: Science, Technology & Environment

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