A chance meeting with an old friend alerts Hank Roland of the Federation Disease Study and Control Service to a terrible danger to the city on the planet Inferno to which he has been assigned—a highly lethal, extremely infectious virus for which there is no natural immunity, no vaccine, and no cure. Knowing it is already too late to stop the epidemic, Hank frantically works with the Commissioner of Public Health and his assistant, Weslee Travaine, to mount the battle against it in a desperate effort to save as many lives as possible and to prevent its spread beyond the city. Victories are few, and the pestilence rages unchecked throughout a long, hot summer. Unless a cure can be found, all twelve million people within the stricken metropolis will die.
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