Nestled near the Hamptons, the fashionable summer playground of America's rich and famous, and in the shadow of New York City, lies an unimposing 840-acre island unidentified on most maps. On the few on which it can be found, Plum Island is marked red or yellow, and stamped U.S. governmentrestricted or dangerous animal diseases. Though many people live the good life within a scant mile or two from its shores, few know the name of this pork chop-shaped island. Even fewer can say whether it is inhabited, or why it doesn't exist on the map. That's all about to change. Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory blows the lid off the stunning true nature and checkered history of Plum Island. It shows that the seemingly bucolic island on the edge of the largest population center in the United States is a ticking biological time bomb that none of us can safely ignore.
Based on innumerable declassified government documents, scores of in-depth interviews, and access to Plum Island itself, this is an eye-opening, suspenseful account of a federal government germ laboratory gone terribly wrong. For the first time, Lab 257 takes you deep inside this secret world and presents startling revelations including virus outbreaks, biological meltdowns, infected workers who were denied assistance in diagnosis by Plum Island brass, the periodic flushing of contaminated raw sewage into area waters, and the insidious connections between Plum Island, Lyme disease, and the deadly 1999 West Nile virus outbreak.
An exploration of the complex world of microbiology, viruses, and bacteria, Lab 257 also shows how the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which ran Plum Island for the last half century, is far more than wholesome grade-A eggs and the food pyramid. The book probes what's in store for Plum Island's new owner, the Department of Homeland Security, in this age of bioterrorism. And for those interested in questions of national security and safety, it is a call to action for those concerned with protecting present and future generations from preventable biological catastrophes.
Lab 257 will change forever our current understanding of Plum Island -- a place that is, in the words of one insider, "a biological Three Mile Island."
1975: The Lyme Connection
Have you ever heard of Lyme disease? I am writing this letter because I know you can help thousands of people by warning them about this awful sickness. I have been battling it for 18 months. Frankly I am not doing well.
It would be impossible for me to describe the emotional and physical pain that I have been through. I am a 42-year-old man, married nearly 20 years, and have a family. The days of slinging a 100-pound sack of bird-seed over my shoulder and walking to the backyard are over.
Today I can't even lift a five-pound sack of flour. There was a time when I could play nine musical instruments. I sang in the church choir and ran my own small business. Today, I do none of the above. I am saving all my energy to fight Lyme disease.
The treatment costs are staggering. IV antibiotic therapy runs from $150 to $475 a treatment ... We have already taken out a third mortgage on our home. Had I been aware of the symptoms from the...
Is there a connection between Lyme disease, West Nile virus and the Department of Homeland Security's laboratories on Plum Island? According to Michael Carroll's apparently thorough research, yes there is, and those aren't the only concerns - add to these biological meltdowns, infected workers denied assistance in diagnosis, flushing of contaminated sewage into local waters, and it's difficult to be anything but concerned. Is Plum Island an accident waiting to happen? It would seem so.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (216 words).
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