TWiV 9: Fever! The discovery of Lassa virus

November 22, 2008

Fever!Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier

Vincent and Dick recall the discovery of Lassa virus in Africa in 1969. A non-fictional account of the story, ‘Fever’, written by John G. Fuller and published in 1974, inspired Vincent to become a virologist. Part of the story took place at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital (now Columbia University Medical Center), where both Vincent and Dick are employed. Dick remembers many of the key players in this medical drama.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #9 (19 MB .mp3, 41 minutes)

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Links for this episode:

  • Click here to view to cover of ‘Fever!’
  • Buy a used copy of ‘Fever!’ at Amazon.

Science podcast pick of the week: The Naked Scientists (iTunes link).

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18 comments on “TWiV 9: Fever! The discovery of Lassa virus

  1. I ordered a copy of Fever! from Amazon. Managed to get a second hand copy. Browned pages and all. The copy I got was published in 1977. This physical copy is older than I am 😀

  2. Science podcast -> Futures in Biotech, second only to TWIV!

    • profvrr Dec 1, 2008

      Thanks. I also like Futures in Biotech, although the recording quality
      often is suboptimal.

  3. So many strange viruses in the world.. I caught a strange virus in Asia once..

  4. Diane Dec 12, 2009

    I just got Fever! from the library and it was great. Couldn't put it down. Didn't quite have the ending I'd envisioned–“and then a vaccine was developed, they eventually managed to inoculate everyone, and they all lived happily ever after.” But a great read, and makes me hungry for more. Now to trawl through the various show notes for more book recommendations.

  5. Glad you liked it. To help your trawling, see

  6. Google: Recall Lassa!

  7. tunie Jan 27, 2013

    My kindle has fever and that is a good thing…thanks